LUBBOCK, Texas — According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States taking the lives of more than 47,000 Americans. Yvette Hernandez lost her 17-year-old daughter, Jacklyn, three years ago and has dedicated her life to keeping Jacklyn’s memory alive.
“I wish I could go back to that day and just ask her if she was okay — if she needed a hug or if she needed to talk about something, and that’s the only thing I can think to tell parents is don’t be afraid to ask them,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez created a group called “Jac’s Room” — a support group and a safe space for teens who might be struggling. Hernandez is not alone; she is one of many people who have lost someone close to them to suicide.
Texas Tech’s Director of Child Psychiatry Services Sarah Wakefield said this is a growing concern in our youth.
“I think a lot of people don’t know that suicide has been increasing across our population across all age ranges for the last several decades,” Wakefield said.
Professor Wakefield said suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10-34 years. Wakefield said there are many resources that many people may be aware of like an app called “Suicide Safety Plan” that is a customized safety net.
“Safety plans are very helpful. It is one of the most evidence based strategies available,” Wakefield said. “What the safety app does is when you’re mired into that emotional brain to remember all the things that your thinking brain would have told you, like what are your reasons to live?”
There are 24/7 help lines also available with StarCare Speciality Health System (806) 740-1414 & Toll Free 1-800-6867-7581