Suicide Screening Program Expanding Into Camanche - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Suicide Screening Program Expanding Into Camanche

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It's a subject that's tough for many to talk about. But one the Camanche community is all too familiar with.

In the last couple of years there have been several suicides.

Last December a 14 year old boy ended his life.

Now the school district is bringing in help to prevent it in the future with a screening program.

Joining in to help save young people's lives.

TeenScreen was developed in the early 90's by Columbia University.

It's a quick 14 question form asking things like, have you had trouble seeing?

Have you been nervous?

And asking have you ever tried to kill yourself?

It's goal is to identify students who need to talk with a mental health professional.

So they can get the help that could save them.

"Unfortunately we've had some issues with suicide in the district and we want to make sure going forward, hopefully we can alleviate some of these issues," says Camanche Schools At Risk Coordinator Josh Davis.

He says Clinton County has been experiencing a cluster of suicides. The community has been looking for a way to prevent these tragedies from occurring. And the TeenScreen mental health program may be part of the solution.

"It does take a lot of different organizations with Bridgeview, with trained professionals, with teachers concerned with the kids and then the kids themselves," says Davis.

Camanche Middle School will ask parents for permission to screen their children at parent teacher conferences. If a parent agrees, the Bridgeview Mental Health Center will offer the child a chance to take the 14 question test. TeenScreen Coordinator Jocelyn Meyer says it's an easy test for a serious condition.

"Just like we would have a child screened for lead poisoning, or diabetes, or other physical illnesses, mental illness needs to be caught early too," says Meyer.

Studies have shown 90 percent of children taking their own lives had an undiagnosed mental illness. Meyer says the screening will identify students at risk. And they'll be connected to a mental health professional.

"My hope is that parents will recognize the extreme importance of screening their child," says Meyer.

Bridgeview Community Mental Health Center already screens students at Central High School, Northeast High School, Calamus-Wheatland High School, and Clinton High School.