Valley Teens Work to Stop Student Suicides - 8 News NOW

Valley Teens Work to Stop Student Suicides

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LAS VEGAS -- Students as young as ten-years-old are killing themselves. Clark County School District officials said it's a problem, but the extent of the problem is not exactly known.

Thousands of students attend Clark County School District campuses every day in the nation's fifth largest school district. It is almost a certainty one of those students won't make it through the year, according to experts.

Isabella Miller is a senior at Durango High School and knows someone who committed suicide. Miller also knows others who have casually mentioned killing themselves.

"A life is a life, and a life affects so many people," Miller said. "I think what we really need to do is emphasize the fact that its not always a joke, and you never know when it's a joke, and it needs to be taken seriously from the very beginning."

Suicide was the topic of discussion at a School Board Student Advisory Committee meeting Tuesday night. Many students rose their hands when asked if they knew someone who committed suicide. More hands were raised when students were asked if they knew someone who talked about suicide.

The latest numbers from the National Institute of Mental Health show suicide was the third leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24. That data was collected from the Centers for Disease Control in 2007.

Teen boys ages 15 to 19 were nearly five times more likely to die by suicide when compared with their female counterparts.

"It's a critical issue. Kids do not know how to deal with the emotions sometimes. It's an age where kids think suicide may be an option for ending their problems and their hopelessness," Clark County School District Trustee Patrice Tew said.

The Student Advisory Committee is working to develop suicide awareness programs in Clark County schools.

Nevada has some of the worst suicide rates among all age groups in the entire nation. The state is ranked fifth overall when it comes to the rate of people killing themselves.

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