Watching for warning signs; expert's advice for parents and friends

A teen took his own life Tuesday on the campus of Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe.

The question on the minds of many is whether this could have been prevented.

One valley organization spoke out about what can be done to help teens battling depression.

Suicide prevention centers have been getting calls from concerned parents after hearing about what happened.

Marcus Wheeler was going to graduate in five days, to others it seemed he had all the right qualities to succeed.

"I had no idea, he looked so happy, I would have never guessed anything was wrong with him... he was such a great kid with so much potential," said D.J. Ware.

But there are suicide warning signs parents can look for.

"Changes in behavior, changes in eating patterns, sleeping patterns, withdrawal from family and friends," said Shane Watson with Not My Kid.

Watson says changes are subtle; that's why it is important for parents to have daily talks with their kids.

"Depression does not discriminate, suicidal ideation does not discrimination, sometimes the high achievers are the ones who are feeling the unbearable amount of pressure," said Watson.

Wheeler posted a few cries for help on social media sites in the hours and days before taking his own life.

"Social media is something that we highly encourage parents to get much more familiar with. The average teen is on 6-7 social media platforms, the average parent thinks they are on 2, and they are going to go there and get things off their chest that they may not feel comfortable telling a teacher, a parent, or even a friend," he said.

For more information visit: www.notmykid.org
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