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Missoula Community Comes Face-to-Face With The Issue of Suicide At Local School

Photo courtesy of Jon King
Photo courtesy of Jon King

Suicide has plagued Montana for decades and the state often has more suicides per-capita than any other. Last year, the number of suicides in Missoula County jumped up another 75 percent and one of those deaths involved a high school student in Seeley Lake. Next week, the Seeley Lake community will be gathering to discuss the problem of suicide with a special Say Something Assembly designed to simultaneously address the issues of bullying and suicide.

 

Nationally, middle age men are at the highest risk for suicide, but Missoula County Deputy Mike Sunderland says in Seeley Lake he’s had tough conversations with many young people including many girls, and even kids in elementary school.

“Over a two week period just up in Seeley Lake we had three instances of students expressing desire to commit suicide,” said Sunderland. “This was just a month ago. The ages of these students were 12, and 13 years-old, the most recent ones, but I actually had a call from a mother whose had a son who was contemplating suicide at the age of eight.”

The “Say Something Assembly” will take place on Tuesday, January 17th at Seeley Lake Elementary Gym. The student assembly will begin at 1:00 p.m., but community leaders are hoping for a large turnout for a special adult assembly that will take place at 6:30 p.m. All adults in the community, not just parents, are invited.

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