TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - About four Arizonans died by suicide every day in 2017. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the number of people who died from car crashes.
When it comes to young people and suicide, it’s the second leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 34.
These statistics are why the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office has made suicide the topic for its most recent event in the Youth in Crisis series. It will be at the Abrams Public Health Center on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 11:30 a.m.
“Before we even get into teaching kids curriculum we’ve got to make sure they’re safe and they’re healthy and that they’re feeling good about themselves and feeling confident,” Pima County Schools Superintendent Dustin Williams said.
The Youth in Crisis series hosts a few events each school year, usually about three or four topics that affect students such as drug use or human trafficking.
Administrators, teachers, and counselors are invited to attend the events to learn about those topics and resources to help counteract them and to help their students dealing with them.
Wednesday’s event will review different strategies to recognize red flags of students in crisis as well as helpful intervention strategies to de-escalate or respond to crisis in the classroom.
As suicide numbers continue to rise in the state and the conversation about mental health continues to make the issue less stigmatized Jane Ballesteros, the county’s Director and Healthy and Safe Schools, said it’s incredibly important to discuss things like this and be aware of the resources available.
“Often we at the schools concentrate so much on the academics. Certainly suicide and the whole culture of the school impacts the academics," she said. "It’s just important for us to be able to help schools to have the resources they need to deal with these things when they become an issue at the school.”
The Pima County School Superintendent’s Office’s next Youth in Crisis event will be held in March.