JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — Two Johnson County school districts are trying to stop teen suicides.
The Johnson County Mental Health Center called it an epidemic.
From January to March, data shows five teens took their own lives in Johnson County. In 2017, that number for the county was six for the whole year.
That’s one reason Blue Valley Superintendent Todd White sent a district-wide email to parents.
“To make sure we could talk about suicides to remove that stigma,” White said.
The CDC shows nationally, teen and young adult suicides have nearly tripled since the 1940s.
Megan Clark, prevention coordinator at Johnson County Mental Health, said that is really just the tip of the iceberg since that number doesn’t account for anyone who thought about or attempted to take their own life.
On Monday, Olathe Schools announced it would offer mental health therapy services to all students, staff and their families over the summer months. The 50-minute sessions will take place at Prairie Learning Center June 4 through July 26. They will be free.