LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Governor Steve Sisolak revealed Tuesday night another Clark County School District student committed suicide. It is the latest in a growing number since the start of the school year.
Josh Curtis says he has noticed a difference with his oldest son, Braxton.
“It’s really sad. An 11-year-old child to see these kinds of behaviors,” said Curtis, a father of six. “He’s at the point now he just doesn’t care.”
It is a recent shift in behavior for the normally active sixth grader.
“He was in sports he was in dance,” Curtis said. “He was a star student previously in accelerated classes, and now he’s just not going to class and he just doesn’t care.'”
Curtis attributes the change to the pandemic and distance education.
“He’s even telling his friends he’s depressed every day,” Curtis said.
Health experts are seeing similar situations. It causes concern as suicides continue happening this school year.
Dr. Sheldon Jacobs with the Southern Nevada Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness says there is a mental health crisis in our community.
“We’ve had 4 deaths involving suicide amongst our Clark County School District students so that’s been very, very difficult,” Dr. Jacobs said.
Along with suicides, psychiatric hospitalizations are also rising among children — a result of our current circumstances
“Due to being more isolated. Being away from their friends not being in school physically,” Dr. Jacobs said.
“We are seeing increasingly more incidents of suicide attempts and completion from kids younger than 12, even 8, 9, 10,” added Dinisha Mingo, CEO of Mingo Health Solutions.
Curtis tells 8 News Now he is talking with his son and even considering counseling.
“We’re trying what we can and at this point, we’re kind of at a loss,” Curtis said.
The Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention says suicide is the leading cause of death for teens aged 12 to 19 in Nevada.
For a list of mental health resources available for parents, CLICK HERE.
There is also another resource parents can turn to: Reggie Burton of the Avery Burton Foundation. Burton’s organization was established to help families and their loved ones who may be suffering silently, sometimes leading to tragic outcomes. To read his tips on talking to children about depression, mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and more, click here.