BEND, OR -- The teenage years are difficult - with all those physical, emotional and hormonal changes; it can also be depressing for some kids. Last year, a Sky View Middle School student killed himself, prompting the Bend school to invite a motivational speaker from South Carolina to talk about depression and suicide.
Jeff Yalden travels the country talking with students, teachers and parents about this growing epidemic. He spoke at an assembly at SVMS Thursday. "We need to teach our children coping skills, problem solving skills, we need to teach them that life is not perfect, that life will never be perfect. There's going to be mountains you're going to have to climb. And, when you get to the mountain you can't just stop, 'I can't do this.' But, our kids just think that somehow life gets easy."
He says research shows social media makes teens more depressed, as they compare themselves to others. "I really want to bring the family back together. I want them I want when we sit down at the dinner table, the cell phones are off the table. The average family communicates in meaningful conversation today, less than 30 seconds a day. Whose fault is this? This is our fault."
Oregon has one of the highest rates of suicide in the country. Nationwide, 100 teens take their own lives, each week.