Challenged by high youth suicide rates and an ongoing need to support youth behavioral health, Nampa School District has taken these five steps to identifying and addressing the problem on a daily basis

Here in Idaho, you might say that the odds are against us on the behavioral health front. After all, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Idahoans aged 15- to 34-years-old. According to the Department of Health and Welfare, there were a total of 393 suicides in Idaho in 2017 for all ages.

Related content: Safe and healthy students are a top priority

5 strategies helping this district cultivate a healthy student mindset

These tragic events touch many educational institutions–and their students and families–every year in a state where the suicide rate is 58 percent higher than the national average.

Not willing to stand by and let our students become statistics, our district has taken some very deliberate measures to help support youth behavioral health and support positive outcomes. We’ve been working on these initiatives for years in a region of the world where certain school districts have experienced multiple suicides within a year’s time. We’ve experienced such losses ourselves, most recently when a school resource officer and a teacher both died by suicide about two years ago.

About the Author:

Kathleen Tuck is Director of Communications and Community Relations at the Nampa School District in Idaho.

Add your opinion to the discussion.