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Harry Young Obituary - Kansas City, MO
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White says in the past, schools have tip-toed around the issue of suicide, and discouraged the outpouring of sympathy that happens when a student dies from a car accident or cancer. That needed to change. White decided it was time to take a different approach. It suddenly seemed obvious; ask the students what they thought was going on.
White and the other five district superintendents in Johnson County began meeting monthly with mental health professionals, law enforcement, families, doctors and faith leaders. They teamed up with programs like Speak Up and other prevention efforts. Some schools committed to mental health exams at the start of the year.
They brought in experts to train kids on how to identify warning signs in peers, and when to alert a trusted adult that a young person might be at risk. Consultants came in and created a teen council and a prevention campaign dubbed zeroreasonswhy. Eighteen-year-old Bella Price joined as a way to prevent others from feeling as alone as she imagines her friend Josh Hoston did. Brianna, left, survived a suicide attempt and is now working with peers on prevention programs.
Teen suicide rates are even higher on the Missouri side of the metro. Brianna is a senior in the Lee's Summit school district. We're using only her first name because of her age and the sensitivity of the subject. The summer before her sophomore year, she attempted suicide. For men, it was significantly higher: from Schools and communities are doing the right thing to crack the culture of secrecy.
Experts say we'll never end teen suicide completely. But by removing the stigma around mental health, providing resources and most important, a space for young people to talk about the pressures of being a teenager, the hope is fewer of them will see suicide as their only way out.
Share Tweet Email. Spring Hill High Senior Bella Price got involved in suicide prevention efforts after losing a good friend.