The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Paulding County schools are hoping the community will join with them in discussing what can be a very sensitive subject.
A Youth Suicide Prevention Summit hosted by the GBI and the Paulding County School District is set for Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Paulding County High School Performing Arts & Athletic Center at 1297 Villa Rica Hwy. in Dallas.
Mary Wade, the county school district’s prevention and intervention coordinator, said Paulding schools “definitely have suicidal youth” as students.
Some have been hospitalized while others died in recent years, Wade said.
“We need to address it; we need to get it out in the open,” she said.
Special Agent in Charge Trebor Randle of GBI’s Child Fatality Unit organized the event.
A GBI notice for the event on social media outlets stated that since 2014 a total of 268 youths have taken their own lives in Georgia.
According to a posting on Twitter, “For every young person who dies by suicide, national statistics indicate 25 others will have attempted to take their own lives.
“That means approximately 6,700 other children have attempted suicide during the same time.
“In response, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Child Fatality Review want to start the conversation around what we can do to prevent suicides in the state of Georgia.”
Randle coordinates similar events statewide, including in May 2018 in Douglasville.
Wade said she worked with Randle on a statewide suicide task force, which led to planning for a suicide prevention event in Paulding.
Wade coordinates school district efforts to address a range of student behavioral problems -- from suicide and drug and alcohol abuse to bullying.
She said after she began work in her position in the 2018-2019 school year the Paulding district “started attacking it pretty aggressively.”
Teachers were trained to spot some signs of a possibly suicidal student, such as a sudden drop in grades or withdrawal from activities they formerly enjoyed, Wade said.
Wade said she also wanted to organize an event during National Suicide Awareness Month in September.
For more information on the event, visit www.gbi.ga.gov/cfr or call 404-270-8715.
In addition, a suicide prevention training session featuring the QPR method of suicide prevention is set for Sept. 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Hiram High School at 702 Virgie Ballentine Drive in Hiram.
QPR is an acronym for “question, persuade, refer.”
It promises to give attendees tools to determine if someone is suicidal, including how to determine the warning signs, “how to ask someone if they are thinking of suicide,” and the resources available to help a suicidal individual