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Des Moines, IA: CDC reports 56% increase in youth suicide over decade; more teacher training

Nov 12, 2018, Marshalltown (IA) Times Republican: Iowa schools focus on mental health after high suicide rate … On Jan. 28, 2012, the 15-year-old Johnston High School freshman took his own life. The next day, another Johnston student did the same. There were a total of three suicides that year in the Des Moines suburb’s school district. Brian Carico was principal at Johnston Middle School when his son killed himself, and he can’t help but feel that he and other school staff could have done more. … With suicides across Iowa at their highest levels in more than a decade, schools are trying to stem future deaths by stepping up training focused on identifying students at risk and getting them help. Iowa’s suicide rate is growing faster than many states and exceeds the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A year after Cameron’s funeral, Carico met Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, of Des Moines, at Panera Bread in Johnston to discuss how the state could curb the rise in teen suicides. The national suicide rate for youth ages 10 to 19 increased 56 percent between 2007 and 2016, according to the CDC. From that discussion, Petersen drafted a bill to require teacher training on suicide prevention. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 2113 in March…. The state offers free Youth Mental Health First Aid courses to school districts. About 12,000 Iowa residents, including educators and other community members, are certified “First Aiders,” according to the Iowa Department of Education. …

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