Parents, pastors team up against teen suicide

Posted at 10:49 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 22:50:02-05

CINCINNATI - Community leaders and parents gathered at the Church of the Living God to pray for end to a crisis they see spreading across the region.

It's the so-called "Suicide Pact" on social media.

"An increasing number of suicides and suicide attempts amongst our children in our schools," said Pastor Ennis Tait.

But prayer is only part of their strategy. Showing teens they are loved is another part.

Ronita Beaman says she's worried about so-called "games" on social media that may encourage children like hers to harm themselves.

"Sometimes peer pressure and different things of the other children can play a part, so at that point, no more social media for my household," says the mother of five.

"I always go to my children and tell them, 'If you need someone to talk to, I'm here,'" says Lisa Latham.

Latham says it's too easy for kids to chat on the Internet instead of interacting with a real human being.

"But at the end of the day, if you don't have this (hug),   what do you have?" Latham asked.

Pastor Tait of Project Nehemiah Cease Fire believes the apparent increase in teen suicides is no accident.

"I think it's tactical," he said. "I think that there's somebody out there that is being cynical, and who created this or who has some issues themselves, so we want to make sure we address this as a mental issue as well."

And he wants to be clear: the pressure on our children's lives  has no boundaries.

"It's not a black thing, it's not a white thing, it's not a straight thing, it's not a gay thing. It's a big thing," hje said, "and it's touching everybody in every community."

 If you know someone battling depression that may need help, they can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.