Teenage depression, and how to notice its warning signs, will be the focus of a meeting next week hosted by the Yampa Valley agency Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide. REPS estimates one in five teens in Moffat and Routt counties is battling some form of depression.

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Teenage depression, and how to notice its warning signs, will be the focus of a meeting next week hosted by the Yampa Valley agency Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide. REPS estimates one in five teens in Moffat and Routt counties is battling some form of depression.

Meeting to focus on warning signs of teen depression

If you go

What: "Recognizing Teenage Depression" discussion

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Conference Room No. 1, Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.

• Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, an agency that serves Moffat and Routt counties, is hosting the discussion. It is free and open to the public.

— Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, a Yampa Valley agency, originally scheduled a public discussion titled "Recognizing Teenage Depression" for early March to highlight an upcoming training seminar on suicide prevention.

A teenage suicide in Routt County last month pressed that timetable, said Lisa Foley, REPS suicide prevention coordinator. Parents were concerned symptoms of depression may be slipping by them, she said.

"The community is looking for answers they can't find right now," Foley said.

Given the circumstances, the group that serves both Moffat and Routt counties bumped up its original discussion date and will now host the teenage depression meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Conference Room No. 1 at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.

Dr. Brian Harrington, of Yampa Valley Medical Associates, and Dr. Kimberly Nordstrom, of REPS and Steamboat Mental Health Center, will lead the discussion.

Suicide and depression, particularly in teens, are legitimate public health concerns in the Yampa Valley, according to REPS data and estimates.

The organization estimates 12 people in Moffat and Routt counties commit suicide each year.

National statistics indicate one in every eight teenagers suffers from depression. REPS estimates the number in Moffat and Routt counties could be closer to one in five.

The difference between teen and adult depression, Foley said, is impulse.

"Teenagers don't often realize the finality of their instinctive decision," she said. "Their decisions are a little more abrupt, whereas an adult would give it a little more thought."

Teenage boys are more likely than girls to commit suicide, Foley said, "mostly because they are more outwardly aggressive." Teenage girls are more likely to plan out a suicide attempt, she said.

REPS officials said people who attend the discussion will learn how to reach out and support teens with depression, recognize opportunities to help and the warning signs of teen depression. Some signs include changes to eating and sleeping habits, extracurricular activities and withdrawing from regular social circles.

Tuesday's discussion is open to, and equally relevant for, both parents and teens, Foley said.

"We want the teens to recognize in their sibling or a friend of theirs what depression may come off as," she said.

For more information, call Foley at 879-2141.

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