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Iowa Teen Suicide Rate Grows

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- Thinking about the good times is how 15-year-old Sarah Hamer has gotten through the last seven months.
Thats one thing Ill remember about him is his smile, Hamer said. Not a day goes by that I dont think about him.
In March, her ex-boyfriend committed suicide. He was just 14.
It came out of the blue, no warning, said Kim Zimmerman, Sarah mother. Its really kind of turned our family inside out.
Sarahs story is one crisis counselors like Alison DeFrance are seeing more of every day.
"Last school year and now this school year, we're getting called out on a pretty high number of calls," DeFrance said who is a licensed therapist and counselor at Foundation 2.
Foundation 2 is a 24 hour resource for those in crisis. The group has more than 20 counselors and a hotline that gets more than 2,000 calls a month.
"There's everything from break ups, you throw in the social media, DeFrance said. The struggles that kids are facing are very large to them."
In 2011, 30 teens committed suicide in Iowa. A number that's grown each year since 2009.
Defrance says parents should take every threat seriously and pay attention to any warning signs.
"Acting out, running away, substance abuse those kinds of things, depression," she said.
Signs Sarah says she now looks for in others, extending a hand to anyone she thinks may need one.
I just dont want to see this happen ever again, Hamer said.
To contact Foundation 2 Crisis Center, call (319) 362-2174.
 
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