Missouri schools speak up amid spike in teen suicides

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month
Updated: Dec. 17, 2017 at 12:48 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Area educators are opening up the topic of teen suicide for discussion after seeing deaths rise to record numbers in Missouri and elsewhere.

The Kansas City Star reports that parents and lawmakers are pushing school districts to confront the many issues related to youth suicide. Such issues include mental health, bullying, drug dependency, impulsiveness and academic pressure.

A new Missouri law requires all schools to have strategies written by July 2018 to prevent suicide. The strategies must also address the issue of cyberbullying, an escalating factor to teen suicides.

State figures show 73 teenagers in Missouri ranging from 10 to 19 years killed themselves last year. The next highest total among that age group occurred in 1987.

Experts say the spike reflects a youth culture that pushes perfection.

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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