Maricopa County Attorney's Office working on new teen suicide prevention program

Youth suicide rates in the United States are on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among girls hit a 40-year high in 2015 and suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 12 and 18.

September is Suicide Prevention Month and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office is working on a new program to prevent teen suicide.

February 2015 9-1-1 call: "I am at Independence High School.. two girls just got shot.. please send an ambulance to Independence High School.. right now.. there is somebody hurt."

Two students die in a murder-suicide. That terrible loss motivated Gina Godbehere to get involved to keep it from happening again.

"No one is immune from this tragedy.. your child, friend, neighbor.. not selective.. these kids have risks we did not have to deal with when we were children," she said.

The program is called Speak Up - Stand Up - Save a Life and the name of the program describes what the whole strategy is, to help these kids at risk.

According to the group, in Arizona, suicide is the leading cause of death for kids aged 10 to 14. And the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 to 34. In part because young people have to deal with new, high-tech threats.

"When we were children, there were always bullies, but you could run home. You are not safe anymore.. now with social media, you have the chance to be bullied and picked on and ridiculed 24/7," said Godbehere.

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

Speak Up - Stand Up - Save a Life - Youth Conference
January 16, 2018, 9am - 1pm
Grand Canyon University
3300 W. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85017