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Suicide facts

Times Staff Writer
Published November 16, 2003

* U.S. deaths in 2000: 29,350

* Overall rank of suicide among causes of death: 11

* Rank among people ages 10 to 19: third

* Number of people ages 10 to 14 who committed suicide: 296

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000 (report issued September 2002)

Where to get help

Mental Health Association of Greater Tampa Bay Inc., www.MHA-tampabay.com or 727 507-2109, offers a list of mental health care providers, public and private.

Center for Mental Health Services, www.mentalhealth.org is a government-supported service offering confidential referrals to public health facilities.

National Hopeline Network, toll-free 1-800-784-2433, connects callers to certified counselors at crisis centers 24 hours a day.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, www.family.samhsa.gov is a government-sponsored family guide to keeping youths mentally healthy and drug-free.

Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, www.cabf.org provides comprehensive information on early-onset bipolar disorder.

Depression and Related Affected Disorders, www.drada.org is an organization related to Johns Hopkins University that supplies information and support for those suffering with depression.

Depressed Child, www.depressedchild.org is a source of information for parents with children suffering from depression. It is run by Jim Kidney, Dan's father.

Recognizing depression

The behavior of depressed children and teenagers may differ from the behavior of depressed adults, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (www.aacap.org) If one or more of these signs of depression persist, parents should seek help:

* Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying

* Hopelessness

* Decreased interest in activities or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities

* Persistent boredom; low energy

* Social isolation; poor communication

* Low self-esteem and guilt

* Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure

* Increased irritability, anger or hostility

* Difficulty with relationships

* Frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches

* Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school

* Poor concentration

* A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns

* Talk of or efforts to run away from home

* Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior

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