Ga. representative advocating mandatory school screenings amid suicide rise in children

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia State Mental Health professionals state stress in kids has increased since the pandemic, along with suicide rates.

Recent data from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shows 67 kids in the state have taken their own lives since last fall. That number surpassed 2020′s total of 55 suicides.

That’s why Georgia State Representative Mesha Mainor continues her push to mandate suicide screening at the beginning of each academic year for every public-school student ages eight through 18 with House Bill 1005.

She explained that this bill could help parents identify children who may be less likely to speak out about suicidal thoughts and get the child the needed help.

“My push is really for screening. We need to screen because we’re missing too many children. Because you really may just not know until, unfortunately, you could be one of those parents that will be sitting saying I just had no idea, and I don’t want that to happen to a parent,” said Mainor.

Rep. Mainor stated while her suicide prevention bill didn’t pass in the legislature last month, she hopes it will be reintroduced and passed in 2023.

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