Community Trying To Stop Teen Suicide Trend In St. Clair

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ST. CLAIR, MO. (KTVI) -The Superintendent of the St. Clair School district says his heart goes out to the families of 3 students who died by suicide during the past 7 weeks.

Dr. Michael Murphy calls it nearly impossible to fathom but it’s happened at St. Clair High School.

A high school junior, sophomore and freshman took their own lives in three separate incidents.

The superintendent said out of respect to the victims he would not go into detail about their deaths.  Dr. Murphy did say there was no common thread that connected the suicides together.

The district held an emergency meeting Tuesday night at the high school cafeteria but the turnout was so big that the meeting was moved into the gymnasium.

“There are individuals here who truly are needing to deal with crisis and then there are other individuals here who are truly reaching out to support a community in need,” said Dr. Murphy.

Some parents say bullying is big problem for students at the high school.

2011 graduate Scott Layton hopes to help form a non-profit aimed at giving teens a chance to talk to other teens about the troubles.

“It would be like an A.A. for bullying,” explained Layton.

There are many area resources for teens in trouble.  One of them involved a hotline operated by trained teens.

KUTO stands for "Kids Under Twenty-One."  During an interview with FOX 2 earlier this year, the agency’s executive director explained how a hotline can make a difference.

“We find that many times all the caller really needs is to have someone validate their situation,” said Elzabeth Makulec.  She said callers often look to be acknowledged, “That they’re in a tough place and someone is willing to hear their dark story and not be judged.”

Here are resources the district shared with parents and students.

CHADS Family Support: 314-952-8274

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-TALK
Trevor Project (For LGBTQ youth) 866-4-U-TREVO
STL County Youth Connection Helpline 314-628-2929 or Text 4HLP to 31658
KUTO Crisis Line 1-800-644-KUTO (5886)
Call for Help (IL) Crisis Hotline 618-397-0963

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