Thousands of teens commit suicide each year in the United States. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds.

Suicide does not just happen. Studies show that at least 90% of teens who kill themselves have some type of ­mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, or a behavior problem. They may also have problems at school or with friends or family, or a combination of all these things. Some teens may have been victims of sexual or physical abuse, or bullied via social media. Others may struggle with issues related to gender and sexual identity. Usually they have had problems for some time.

Most teens do not spend a long time planning to kill themselves. They may have thought about it but only decide to do it after an event that produces feelings of ­failure or loss, such as...

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