Spike in teen suicides prompts community discussion in Lake County

By: Angela Jacobs

Updated:

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - In a matter of weeks, five teens committed suicide in south Lake County and the community has come together to discuss what can be done to improve the situation.

Three weeks ago, Renee Lowe helped form the group We Are Listening to bring awareness to the recent spike in teen suicides.

The group began with a vigil after the community was rocked by the death of a student who took his life in front of Lake Minneola High School.

“It’s really just two moms, you know, that just thought this has got to stop, and what can we do and how can we get the word out there,” Lowe said.

Along with deaths, 20 minors were held and checked out under the Baker Act, meaning they had plans to seriously harm themselves, Lowe said.

We Are Listening members quickly went to work gathering local leaders, members of law enforcement, crisis counseling groups, teachers and guidance counselors to open up a discussion about the problem.

“We just want to find out where those resources are, what we have to do to get them implemented and how do we get them in front of these students,” Lowe said. “We just didn’t want to be silent anymore.”

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