AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - With a spike in teen suicides in Cincinnati over the past month, a group of community and church leaders, concerned parents and local law enforcement met Thursday to address the growing problem.
"Suicide is nothing new in our communities but the fact that it has become a trend really hurts our heart," community activist, Damon Lynch IV said at the Church of the Living God in Avondale.
Recent posts on social media indicate that the children may be influenced by a "Who Will Miss Me When I'm Gone?" challenge.
"To have the challenge of who 'will miss me when I'm gone' is unacceptable. I know a lot of children are trying to meet that challenge but that's not an option," said church pastor, Ennis Tait. "You need to be able to help these children. They're crying out. And when they're crying out, don't push them aside. Don't tell them oh baby, you don't know what you're talking about. Yes they do."
The group is scheduling teen forums to listen to children's concerns about the growing issue.
"I'm here to tell the youth, we're listening," parent Ronita Beamon said. "You woke us up. I'm here to tell parents, we feel your pain. And I'm here to say, as a community, we're going to step up and make some changes for the whole youth."
The Cincinnati Police Department is offering support to stop the growing trend of kids committing suicide.
The department says if you have an issue with someone who might be considering suicide, you can call 9-1-1 and they will dispatch a mobile crisis unit to your location to evaluate the situation.
A youth forum dealing with suicide will be held Saturday at True Divine Ministries at 310 Dorchester Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45219.