COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohio officials are highlighting a new state law requiring schools to train teachers and staff on youth suicide prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 11 Ohio students have actually tried to commit suicide. It's the second leading cause of death among Ohioans between the age of 15 and 24.
The bill from State Rep. Marlene Anielski took effect in March. But she appeared at a Tuesday news conference with former Ohio State President Gordon Gee and Attorney General Mike DeWine to draw attention to the law.
"The more we talk about it, the more education that is out there for the students themselves and also the teachers and the personnel, we're going to reduce that number," Anielski said.
Anielski's son, Joseph, took his own life in 2010. Kevin Stankiewycz, a senior at Brunswick High School, was good friends with Anielski. He says there were no warning signs and Anielski, who was nearly 6'7", was not the target of bullying. He wants other students to know that no matter how much it seems like no one cares, someone does.
"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem," he said.
This fall marks the first school year that teachers, nurses, counselors and others are required to get the training. It counts toward professional development training, along with topics such as dating violence prevention.
The Jason Foundation is providing free training materials to Ohio schools. The Hendersonville, Tenn.-based organization says about 600 Ohio educators have completed its training.
"We're losing about 100 people a week in our nation to suicide," said Jason Foundation President Clark Flatt. He lost his son to suicide in 1997.
Stankiewycz would like to see more resources for students to also recognize the warning signs of suicide so they could step in and help.
"Teachers have the ability to look through their writing and stuff and pick out stuff like that
State lawmakers also recently passed a law designating Sept. 10 as ``Ohio Suicide Prevention Day.''
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