#schoolsafety | Mission Valley schools host suicide & mental health awareness event

TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW)– Mission Valley and the Wabaunsee County Sheriff’s Department hosted a suicide and mental health awareness event on Wednesday night.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers behind distracted driving and with five reported suicides in Wabaunsee County in 2019, it’s becoming a growing problem.
“The national average for suicide is sixteen per one hundred thousand people and Wabaunsee is seven thousand people so we’re running five times the national average,” said Wabaunsee County Sheriff Rob Hoskins.
Wabaunsee County School’s decided to address the problem with local law enforcement, community members, and parents at a meeting Wednesday night.
Taking preventative action was one the main topics discussed at the event.
One of the preventative measures discussed was recognizing the possible dangers of social media.
“Social media applications sometimes target our youth and they’re made so our parents don’t know what’s going on so having an open and honest communication with our kids to make sure they are using their phone in our presence, I advocate for no cell phone use in the bedroom. The main point is that we want our kids to be safe” said School Safety Specialist, John Calvert.

Jamey Hancock says the most important preventative measure to take with your kids is to address the topic directly.
“You should ask them, have you thought about committing suicide, do you have a plan and if the answer is yes to either one of those there are a lot of resources that are out there.”

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