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Seattle's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and More | Seattle, Washington | KING5.com

Issaquah teen shares warning signs as more Washington youth report thoughts of suicide

According to the Washington State Department of Health, 20 percent of teens surveyed had thoughts of suicide in the past year. That's up from 17 percent in 2016.

Kilye Graves couldn't quite put her finger on what was wrong.

Around the time she was in 5th grade, the Issaquah teen says she began to feel like nothing mattered. She felt alone despite all of the love from her family and friends.

"I stopped doing things. I stopped doing school," she said. "I stopped caring about things here and there. I didn't notice until it got bad, and it showed."

Symptoms of depression crept into her pre-teen years until she felt her life in a downward spiral. Then, thoughts of suicide lurked in the background.

"I did something that put me in a facility," she shared. "That's when things turned around I guess."

Minor treatment was not effective but Graves found help at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital where she was welcomed with open arms.

"I loved it there. It's hard to explain. But just being in a place where there are no distraction and healing was more important saved my life," she said.

Graves' thoughts of depression and suicide appear to be part of an alarming trend among teens in Washington State.

According to the newest Healthy Youth Survey from the Washington State Department of Health, 20 percent of 250,000 teens surveyed had thoughts of suicide in the past year. That's up from 17 percent in 2016.

Dr. Caroline Fisher worked closely with Graves at the hospital and points to unnecessary pressure from social media and other sources can rob teens of their ability to feel worthy.

"It's hard being a kid these days. It really is," Fisher said. "When we see these kids they feel like they're not worth it, and when they leave they do. Even better, they keep living and they turn into wonderful and valuable people."