ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some South Georgia doctors are saying they've seen a rise in suicide attempts in our area in the past year.
They're trying to spread the awareness so that people can get help-- before it's too late.
"Suicide is a big problem today. I want people to realize that," said Dr. Mfon Inyang, a child and adolescent psychologist and Phoebe's Outpatient behavioral health medical director.
Dr. Inyang sees patients ranging from children to adults.
"We have kids who are five years old that have suicidal thoughts," admitted Inyang.
As one of few child and adolescent psychologists in the area, Dr.Inyang sees children from all over the state. He says the new trend of younger kids wanting to take their own life worries him.
"They're having access now and more exposure to things previously used to be adult related things," said Dr. Inyang.
Inyang said he's still seeing adults with suicidal thoughts too. He says in the past year he's seen an increase in suicide attempts in general. In Albany alone, the police department has been called to 22 suicide attempts and one successful suicide in 2018.
"The kids that report suicidal thoughts tend to also mention bullying as a big factor in it, being made fun of at school," said Dr. Inyang.
As for adults living in black and white, Dr. Inyang said he often sees the depressed patients have been increasing their drug use.
Dr. Inyang said it's important both kids and adults experiencing signs of depression get help.
"Suicide is an illness," explained Dr. Inyang. "It's not something to be ashamed about, just like you shouldn't be ashamed of having asthma or diabetes. It's not a weakness of a character flaw."