3 out of 5 teens who died by suicide in Milwaukee County last year cited 'virtual learning' as a stressor

NOW: 3 out of 5 teens who died by suicide in Milwaukee County last year cited ’virtual learning’ as a stressor

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Students are back to in-person learning this year and experts say it's good for their mental health. 

New data shows virtual learning had a negative impact on children in Milwaukee County.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, three out of five children who died by suicide last year told family members virtual learning was a stressor in their life. They were between the ages of 12 and 17. 

"Developmentally, the job of a teenager is to learn how to navigate their social environment," said UW Health pediatric psychologist, Shanda Wells. 

Wells said more time at home can often mean social isolation for everyone, and school is an important time for children to socialize. 

Experts say there are a few warning signs parents should look for, including hopelessness, depression and severe anxiety.

"I would say being isolated is a very big risk factor for, you know, kids -- of feeling that hopelessness," said Wells. 

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or you can chat with them online. 

There are also local resources like the Milwaukee County Mobile Crisis Team and the Children's Mobile Crisis Team

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