June 27, 2016

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County lost four teens to suicide in 10 months

Note: This story is part of a larger piece, focusing on the effectiveness of laws and school policies surrounding the reporting of teens who may be suicidal.
• To see the main story, click here.
• For resources on who can help if you or someone you know is considering suicide, click here.
• To read about the father of Deven Baab, whose suicide prompted these stories, click here.

In the last 10 months, Medina County has lost four teenagers to suicide — twice the number of youngsters who had taken their own lives in the previous two years.

Deven Baab was one of two juvenile suicides reported in the county in the last half of 2012.

So far this year, two more deaths of teenagers have been ruled suicide, according to the Medina County Child Fatality Review Board, which compiles information on everyone who dies under the age of 18.

The review board reported only one suicide of a child in Medina County in 2010 and one in 2011.

Statewide in 2011, the last year data are available, Ohio reported 55 suicide deaths of residents under 17 — nearly double the 28 reported the year before.

The county review boards send data to the Ohio Department of Health, which publishes an annual Ohio Child Fatality Review.

The most recent report, published last year covering deaths in 2010, provides a demographic portrait of the youngsters most at risk: suburban boys, like Deven Baab.

Boys represented 86 percent of child suicides in 2010 but make up only 51 percent of the childhood population.

The report also found 29 percent of child suicides happened in suburban counties, while suburban teens only make up 18 percent of the population.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.