GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens. From a local perspective, the most recent Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey revealed 20 percent of teens seriously thought about suicide in the last year, 15 percent made a suicide plan and 8 percent attempted suicide one or more times. On average, this means five kids in every middle and high school classroom seriously thought about taking their own life.
Every school year, Holland High and Middle Schools each perform about 50 Suicide Risk Assessments. Students who express suicidal thoughts to their friends or staff are screened immediately by two school professionals; one is a counselor and/or social worker. The results of these evaluations are shared with the student’s parents to determine next steps of either therapy or hospitalization.
Dr. Brian Davis, Superintendent of Holland Public Schools told Holland Hospital, “In my nearly 30 years of public service in education, I have yet to see a greater need for mental health care in our schools than what is present today,” he added.
The School Mental Health Program currently has one full-time SMHCM. To sustain this program, they’re currently seeking grants and donations. For more information or to donate to the School Mental Health Program, visit Holland Hospital’s donate page.