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Dodging Disaster

Think about this: one out of every five teens is suffering from depression, anxiety, self-mutilation and suicidal thoughts at this very moment.

Lacie Purvis, a Lowndes Middle 8th grader, says, "I know a girl who cuts her arms and she has scars on her arms and she really needs a lot of help with that."

The problem is very real to students not only at Lowndes Middle School, but all over the nation.

John Chick, the Teen Screen program coordinator, says, "We do have kids here that are thinking about suicide and the problem is we don't know it."

But a program called Teen Screen is now being used at Lowndes Middle School to catch pre-suicidal kids before they fall. Students here say they are happy some of their friends who suffer in silence will get the help they need.

Sydny Haire, an 8th grader, says, "Friends; you know you talk to them and they say some pretty awkward things and I think it could be helpful and it's just a good program."

Teachers say the Teen Screen program will be an effective way to help those troubled kids get well.

Terri Hundley, a Lowndes Middle School teacher, says, "Sometimes when you just refer them to the social worker of the counselor we don't know if they're actually getting the help they need. We see them back in class a few days later and things seem to be ok, but it may not be."

Organizers say if the Teen Screen program can help just one child at Lowndes Middle School it will make all the difference in the world.


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