By Claire Radler and Lauren Fox
“I remember praying to die. At the grotto, I remember praying to die.” – Morgan Monte, 34, a peer support specialist for a community of mental health.
In her late teenage years and during her sophomore and junior years at Notre Dame, Morgan Monte struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, the same issues that she helps others combat today through her work.
“It was in my mind all the time, like thoughts of being worthless. Everything I did, my mind would find a way to tell me that I screwed up somehow,” Monte said.
“Part of how the depression manifested was doing risky things like riding my bike along the side of the road in the dark, like a passive death wish.”
Monte’s depression materialized in her high school years at Frankenmuth High School in the form of eating disorders. What started with eating too little and exercising too much reversed into eating too much. This then progressed to acts of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Monte could not handle her emotions, she noted, and sought to shut them down.
The onset of Monte’s depression mirrors those of other teens, and unfortunately her story is a common one.
Out of all of the states, Indiana ranks in the middle, No. 25, for most suicides in 2016, as shown in the graphic below.
But in terms of teen suicide rates, Indiana ranks much higher in comparison to other states.