Ogden school officials are holding a town hall meeting this Thursday evening for suicide prevention, the first of its kind for the district.
Last year in Weber County, there were 44 deaths by suicide. Jody Hansen is Lead Counselor at Ogden City Schools. She says it can be hard to notice suicidal behavior, especially in quiet students. That’s why it’s important for parents to know the signs.
“Sometimes it’s hard for parents to accept the fact that their child really may be hurting and maybe need help,” Hansen says. “A lot of times parents think, oh, they’re just trying to get attention, or they’re just having a bad day because that’s what we want to believe. So I’m hoping that people will come, they’ll be more aware of those symptoms and take it more seriously.”
Hansen says the event at Ben Lomond High School is meant for parents, students, and anyone who could be in a position to make a difference.
“People will actually be trained in how to question someone they’re worried about, how to persuade them to get help, and really, pretty much save a life,” Hansen says.
The event will also offer training on what to do if someone is harming themselves. Hansen says she’s observed more self-harm behaviors and cutting among young people, often shared on social media. Thursday’s town hall is being held in conjunction with establishing peer HOPE squads in the secondary schools.