A new task force studying ways to reduce youth suicide will meet Friday in Iola.
The Tower Mental Health Foundation/Attorney General Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force meeting will start at 9 a.m. Friday at Allen Community Colleges Theatre. The meeting is open to the public and is expected to last about three and a half hours.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the panel to focus on three tasks and issue a report by the end of the year. Those areas of focus are:
Surveying ongoing local and state efforts to combat youth suicide through the State of Kansas.
Reviewing the Safe2Tell phone application and similar methods aimed at increasing communication with youth needing assistance and effective reporting of stressors on young people.
Making recommendations for changes in practice, policy or law aimed at preventing youth suicide in Kansas.
The agenda includes presentations from representatives of organizations like Greenbush – The Southeast Kansas Education Service Center; the American Association of Suicidology; the Kansas Association of Counselor Education and Supervision and the Kansas School Counselor Association; and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Kansas.
It also will include a local panel with chance for discussion, and a discussion by the task force
Schmidt and the Tower Foundations chairman, Dr. Walt Menninger, announced the formation of the group in June. The group will survey and report on efforts already underway in Kansas to counter youth suicide and recommend further steps to address the situation.
Additional meetings are scheduled for this fall in Wichita, Overland Park, Dodge City and Topeka. All persons with information about youth suicide-prevention efforts in Kansas are encouraged to testify.
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