The attorney general’s office announced that a new task force will focus on preventing youth suicide in Kansas.
A recent report from the State Child Death Review Board found that average suicide rates for Kansan minors more than doubled between 2005 and 2015.
“The death by suicide of even one child is too many,” Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement. “For the past 10 years, the youth suicide trend has moved the wrong direction in Kansas...We’re asking this task force to raise the profile of the issue and to be a catalyst for discussion about what more should be done.”
A collaboration between Schmidt’s office and the Tower Mental Health Foundation, the Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force will evaluate current prevention efforts in Kansas and produce a report by the end of the year with recommendations on what more can be done to address the issue. The nine-person group will also examine the effectiveness of hotline phone applications in assisting distressed young people.
Ascha Lee is an intern with KMUW's Engagement team and the News Lab. Follow her on Twitter @AschaLee.