Suicide Attempts In Students Increasing, Massachusetts Educators Set Up Commission To Improve Mental Health Services

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald January 04, 04:00 am
Students who consider suicide lack support and proper guidance, hence a school district is setting up a commission to ensure that support is in place.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images )

The rate of suicide attempts among students is increasing and educators in Massachusetts are taking action to help curb the incidents. They have set up a commission that will ensure the students' mental health care and needs are attended. The education leaders are hoping that this will be applied in all schools in the Bay State.

The Safe and Supportive Schools Commission was formed based on the 2014 Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence in response to mass school shootings. The commission is composed of 19 members from both the health and education sector.

The panel's job is to draft a recommendation for Massachusetts schools on what steps to take to improve mental health services to students, including the training of teachers. The commission is expected to submit its report in a few weeks, the Boston Herald report.

According to the Youth Risk Surveillance 2015 report from the CDC, over 17 percent of students in America try to take their life yearly. From these, 11.9 percent of students from Massachusetts have taken some steps to commit suicide.

The suicide attempts in this state have grown to 38 percent since 2013. More female students are likely vulnerable to suicide thoughts than male students and some of the factors as to why this is rampant include family problems, stress and school bullying.

These students are also exposed to violence, sexual abuse and poverty. Some Bay State schools put more emphasize on academic improvements, further contributing to the stress.

Dr. Melissa Pearrow told the Boston Herald that kids today have 10 times the stress and pressure than in previous decades. Worse, the students do not get the proper support and guidance that would have help prevent suicide attempts. Education leaders now acknowledge that students also need social development as well as a good support team from their second home - the school.

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