SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Public Schools are encouraging parents and children to talk about suicide, even if it is uncomfortable,
For the first time ever, the district partnered with local prevention organizations, including Frontier Mental Health and Provide Health Care, to address the epidemic of teen suicide at a meeting on Tuesday night.
Recent numbers suggest teen suicide is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease control, suicides among teenage girls have tripled in the last 15 years.
“It’s every day, waking up sick. Every day going to work not knowing what you’re coming home to,” said mental health specialist Misty Southill.
Southill’s teen daughter contemplated suicide nine years go. It never got to that point, but what followed was a day-to-day journey of anxiety for both mom and daughter.
“I even actually took her to school with me a few times, and ended up home-schooling her because I needed to make sure she was close,” said Southill.
These experiences led Southill to become a mental health counselor.
On Tuesday evening, Southill was one of many suicide experts taking part in the groundbreaking panel discussion on teen suicide hosted by SPS. No topic was off limits at the meeting.
“One is too many, and we need to do whatever it takes to not lose another child,” said Chris Moore with SPS Suicide Prevention.