Mental health of teens is a rising issue in America today. Each year thousands of teens either suffer from depression or commit suicide. There are many teens who think that suicide is the only way out. Those teens that are thinking about suicide are suffering from depression. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24-year-olds. When I asked some individuals in the community of North Creek if they knew of any places in their community where troubled teens can go to get help with their thoughts of suicide, one stated Well the Sheriffs Department, hospital, or their shrink. Probably the school counselor. Another took a second to think then said yeah the guidance office in the school. Thats the only place in the community I know of. Yet another said their clergymen, parents, but there arent any hotlines that I know of for them to call when they are in need of some fast help. The fact that one of the individuals only knew of one place where young teens can go to get help is very disturbing. We as a community should advertise the options teens have when they are in need of help. There are some main things that lead to suicide; like stress, confusion, self-doubt, and pressure to succeed. Many teens find that suicide is their way of telling people that they are hurting inside. The teen feels or is feeling extremely sad, hopeless or worthless; these could be warning signs of a mental health problem. Mental health of teens is painful and severe. Suicide rates for adolescents has increased more then 200 percent over the last 10 years. Teen pregnancy, specialists say, is one of the prime reasons for teenagers to commit suicide. Depression is a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity. You can feel miserable and sad; you can also feel very anxious. There is no single cause for depression. There are genetics, environment, medical conditions, life events, and certain thinking patterns that affect a persons reaction to events. Depression can also run in families, so some of the individuals that have depression might have inherited it from a family member. When some individuals were asked to define depression they either stated, Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes feelings of overwhelming despair. Another said When you cant handle everything thats going on in your life. Depression is a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that assist in transmitting messages between nerve cells in the brain. So the brains response to stress can alter the balance of neurotransmitters and result in depression. In conclusion depression and suicide arent things that should be taken lightly. If you think that you or someone you love is suffering from a form of depression or having suicidal thoughts, then you should get him or her or yourself help. No more will you suffer but you will find yourself becoming your old self once again. So take my advice and find yourself again. Editors Note: Chelsea wrote this article on suicide and depression as part of an advocacy project for her health class. The instructor was Gary Wilson.