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Coalition luncheon focuses on youth mental health, suicide

By Hanna Sumpter, Staff Writer

More than 12 percent of Ray County 6th to 12th graders seriously considered attempting suicide last year.

Vicky Ward, of Tri-County Mental Health Services, shared this statistic from a Missouri Student Survey presented at this year’s Ray County Coalition Luncheon on June 22.

Suicide and adolescent mental health issues were the topic of the luncheon. The coalition is trying to better understand how the community can help area youth and how it can recognize those in need of help.

Ward presented interesting facts about mental health issues affecting adolescents. For example, half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.

Depression was a main focus during the presentation.

“The prevalence of depression in adolescents and young adults increased from 8.7 percent in 2006 to 11.3 percent in 2014,” Ward said. “I think this prevalence we’re seeing increased not because there are more mental illnesses, but because we’re doing a far better job of educating ourselves in being able to identify these at an earlier age.”

The complete story is in the Tuesday, June 30, 2017 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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