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The number of suicides among children and young adults has increased 40 percent since 2002, according to the New Jersey Youth Suicide Report.The report was compiled by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and uses data up to 2015, the most recent year for which it is available.He left a text on his phone, in which he said he was "giving up" and that he was "sorry for the all the trouble he caused." He was 16 years old. More children and teenagers in New Jersey are committing suicide, a phenomenon that's ringing alarm bells for mental health professionals.After unintentional injury and illness, suicide is now the third leading cause of death for New Jersey's young people ages 10-24.
Counselors, teachers, friends, coaches and his family were looking out for him."Mental health struggles are the number one cause of suicide among children," said Dr.Tamar Kahane, an adolescent psychologist and founder of the Kahane Center for Developmental and Psychological Well Being in Englewood.It was at an all-time low 15 years ago, in 2002, at 3.2 suicides out of every 100,000 children. Psychologists point to an array of factors, such as the rise of social media and online bullying, transgender and sexuality issues, increased academic and social pressure and increased access to drugs and alcohol.Now it's at 5.5 suicides per every 100,000 children. Teenage suicide is climbing across the United States, peaking at a rate of 8.5 out of 100,000 children and teens nationally. "This is definitely something that needs attention," said Maureen Brogan, the statewide Traumatic Loss Coalition coordinator at Rutgers University.