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Summit to address recent area teen suicides

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 18:00:07-05

CINCINNATI — School officials and parents alike are concerned over what they say is a growing trend among area teens.

“I probably got six or seven screenshots from kids saying (on social media) they’re going to attempt to kill themselves (since Sunday night),” said Lanita Dykes.

Dykes is the co-founder of a group called Diva Dolls, a group that works to empower disenfranchised youth. They held a summit on teen suicide prevention back in 2013.

Sunday marked the third teen suicide in the area in recent weeks of children up to age 17. The child who died Sunday night was only 12.

These recent suicide cases have prompted Diva Dolls to hold another summit next month.

Dammer Hopkins, who works with 5th and 6th graders in the Tri-State, said social media might be contributing to what some see as an increase in the number of young people committing or attempting suicide.

His concern stems in part from one teenager posting goodbye videos on Facebook before taking his own life.

“I’m very worried,” Hopkins told WCPO. “Social media plays a big part in our teenagers’ lives.

Dykes said she’s surprised just how young some of these cases are getting.

“You may think an 8 year old doesn’t know, but she does,” Dykes said. “She shocked me, she does know about suicide and about dying and taking your own life.”

Bullying and Suicide Resources

The Family Violence Prevention Project

Greater Cincinnati Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network

Cincinnati Children's Anti-Bullying Curriculum

The Girls Guide to End Bullying

StopBullying.gov -  Ohio anti-bullying laws & policies

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Ohio Suicide Hotlines

Cincinnati Children's 'Surviving the Teens' Suicide Prevention program