Schools in Las Vegas are re-evaluating in school learning and closures after an uptick in student suicides during the pandemic. Schools have been closed and conducted virtual learning since March due to Covid-19 and parents, teachers, and staff are concerned about the increase in suicides.

In Clark County, Nevada, 18 suicides were reported during the nine months of closures. Six students died between March 16 and June 30 and 12 died between July 1 and December 31. Clark County School District is the fifth-largest in the country.

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“When we started to see the uptick in children taking their lives, we knew it wasn’t just the Covid numbers we need to look at anymore,” said Jesus Jara, the Clark County superintendent in the New York Times. “We have to find a way to put our hands on our kids, to see them, to look at them. They’ve got to start seeing some movement, some hope.”

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The district set up an alert program to help identify and provide resources to at-risk students. No date has been given for students to return to in-person learning but Jara is hopeful that a small number of students can return in March 2021.

In June, a CDC study found that around 11% of adults seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days and for those between 18-24, 25.5% did. Death by suicide for 10-24 year-olds has been steadily on the rise and the rate increased 76% between 2007 and 2017 for 15-19 year-olds. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for these age-groups. Studies that focus on the mental health and suicide ideation of teens are currently underway; however, experts worry that the pandemic has made these rates even worse.

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If you or someone you know is struggling, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 800-273-8255. You can also text TALK to 741-741 to text a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line. For LGBTQ individuals, the Trevor Project also has a lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. Here is a list of more suicide-prevention and mental health resources.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Sign this petition to tell state lawmakers and governors in the rest of the United States that they must pass and implement laws like SB 855 to ensure that insurance companies can no longer deny life-saving mental healthcare treatment!

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