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Sweetwater Union HS District takes proactive approach to suicide prevention

Open forum planned to discuss issues
Posted: 7:53 AM, Mar 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-07 12:09:28-05
How to prevent suicide

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Sweetwater Union High School District is trying to be proactive in the way it approaches teenage suicide.

They'll hold an Open Forum to discuss the issue Thursday night, March 7, at Otay Ranch High School (1250 Olympic Parkway). The meeting starts at 6 pm.

"One life lost is one too many," says District Spokesperson Manny Rubio.

According to the latest numbers from the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council , suicides rose in 2017 after three years of holding steady. There were 458 deaths by suicide in 2017.

The report also found that 14.5 percent of students had seriously considered suicide.

Rubio says any time there is an incident with a Sweetwater student, they have crisis counselors and psychologists who go to campus. They also follow up with students in the ensuing months. But those are all reactive measures.

To be more proactive, SUHSD officials asked students what issues they want to address concerning suicide. Among the responses were depression, social media pressure and bullying.

The topics will be front and center of the public forum Thursday night.

"We want to make sure as we're going forward, that we're looking at what we can to better support our students," says Rubio. "This was one of the ideas. So let's talk about this in the open and let's talk about this publicly so that we can make sure that our students are feeling supported and feeling recognized."

The event is open to the public. The district says students, parents, community members and anyone else from anywhere in San Diego County is welcome to attend and participate.

San Diego County also offers a website, up2sd.org , to address the suicide crisis. The Suicide Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-724-7240.