LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A new report shows one in three girls or 30% have seriously considered taking their life, that’s according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Alcohol abuse and sexual violence numbers have also surged among teen girls.
“I knew something was wrong when they stopped talking when I started getting the everything’s good. Everything’s fine,” said Mindy Lefort, a mother of three.
Lefort said she makes sure to check in with her kids to discuss topics of mental health, abuse, and thoughts of suicide.
“My middle daughter has had to deal with it the worst personally,” said Lefort. “Last year we had to pull her out of high school and change high schools because she was a victim of all that stuff you read about in those articles and those studies.”
A Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the CDC, showed 18% of girls experienced sexual violence.
Sasha DeCania, a licensed marriage and family counselor said she wasn’t surprised by the study’s numbers.
“I wasn’t surprised. I think the part that was most troubling for me was the increase, substantial increase of sexual assaults against young women,” DeCania said.
DeCania said most people who experience sexual abuse are from people we know, reporting it makes it that much harder when people are isolated or are simply scared.
She also said those with depression and stress may also see an increase in physical aggression or self-harm.
So how can parents talk with kids about these hard topics?
Tips for Parents
“Kids know this is happening. What they don’t know is where they can be powerful in protecting themselves and that is our role as parents to teach them and people who love them,” explained DeCania.
Lefort knows while it will take time it does take a whole community when it comes to getting your kids help.
“It’s been a struggle and it’s been help from everybody. All of her friends, her community,” added Lefort. ” We put her in an after-school program to help push her in that direction where she’s made friends that helped encourage her.”
Numbers are also higher in the LGBTQ+ community. About 52% of LBGTQ+ teens experienced poor mental health.
For a link to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior survey, click HERE.