Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Saving Lives the Sad Need for This Teen Suicide Prevention Effort

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Saving Lives the Sad Need for This Teen Suicide Prevention Effort

Article excerpt

The Rev. Tom Sparacino, once the co-director of vocations for the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, has a new vocation himself these days: preventing teen suicides.

Father Sparacino is pastor of St. Richard Parish in the Pine-Richland School District, where five teens have killed themselves over the past six years. At least two teens in neighboring school districts also have taken their lives in recent years. Angry and heartbroken, Father Sparacino has rallied the community to investigate the causes of this trend and take steps to arrest it. An initial meeting, held in the church basement Monday, brought together nearly 200 people.

These parents, friends and neighbors are wrestling with the local manifestation of a national problem. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the age-adjusted suicide rate jumped 24 percent, to13 per 100,000 population, from 1999 to 2014. …

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