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Survey finds 21% of Virginia teenage girls have considered suicide

Posted at 12:10 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 12:17:56-04

HENRICO, Va. -- Two years ago, a close friend of 16-year-old Lacey McRoberts helped the depressed Henrico teen get the treatment she desperately needed.

Lacey, now a student at Maggie Walker Governor’s School, began to experience depression when she was in the 7th grade. She said her depression became so bad that she attempted to take her own life more than once.

"Most of the time, I tried to asphyxiate myself.  I used plastic bags and tried to cover my mouth and nose and do it that way," Lacey said.

Her family was troubled that they were completely unaware of when she was in her darkest place.

Lacey is one of a growing number of girls who have battled, or are battling, depression. Her story echoes new data from the Virginia Department of Health, who asked thousands of high school students in a survey if they had felt sad or hopeless for two weeks or more during the past year.

Nearly 30 percent of students answered "yes," including nearly four out of 10 girls. Twenty-one percent of female teens have seriously considered attempting suicide, the data found.

Tonight’s special report by CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit digs deeper into the startling numbers as she talks to teens, parents, and school officials about teen depression.

Watch Wednesday night at 11 p.m., on CBS 6, or livestreaming on or through the CBS 6 news app.