Suicide attempts by young Latinas cause alarm

As a young teenager in the 1980s, Maggie Burgos was depressed and cutting herself. Burgos, of Rochester, now 36, survived her suicide attempts, but several years later when her oldest daughter, Soraya Lopez, hit her teenage years, Lopez was plagued by the same feelings of depression and loneliness.

Lopez, now 19, said she would isolate herself in her room. "She (Burgos) didn't know how to deal with me being isolated," recalled Lopez.

The two Latina women are now helping lead a local anti-suicide campaign, "Back Me Up," to bring awareness to the community that young Latinas are attempting suicide more than any other demographic — locally and throughout the country — and letting them know that there is help for those who need it.

In 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 15 percent of Hispanic high school students in Monroe County attempted suicide, compared with 9 percent each for white and African-American youths, according to a survey done by the county's Department of Public Health. The report did not have a breakdown by gender under each race or ethnicity category but it showed that, overall, 13 percent of high school girls attempted suicide, compared with 10 percent of boys. READ FULL STORY

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