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One in five high school students seriously considers suicide.

In light of the suicide by train of a 16-year-old girl from Vermilion , local advocacy groups are offering parents warning signs of teen depression.

According to Pat Lyden, executive director of the Suicide Prevention Education Alliance, suicide is the most preventable form of death because it’s the most treatable.

Lyden said about 90 percent of suicide victims have a significant mental illness at the time of their death – most often depression – and it’s often undiagnosed, untreated or both.

Here are some of the warning signs:

– Change in mood

– Persistent empty, sad feeling

– Declining interest in normal activities

– Change in sleep or appetite

– Physical symptoms include headaches and stomachaches that do not respond to treatment

Lyden said it’s important to remove the stigma about mental illness and get people into treatment. 

“We’re all about identifying early when a young person has depressive illness or bipolar disorder or anxiety disorder and getting that person to a mental health professional for treatment,” she said. “That’s life changing. It’s life saving.”

Lyden adds that there are also things families can do to protect their mental health:

– Making sure they get enough sleep

– Proper nutrition

– Exercise

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