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School district offers free parent seminars to help protect kids

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SALT LAKE CITY — You may not think your children are struggling with bullying or pornography or substance abuse, but they or their friends could be. A local school district is offering parent seminars showing warning signs and offering resources for help.

The first of a series of parent seminars in the Granite School District starts Tuesday night where they will be talking about bullying, mental health, Internet safety, suicide and substance abuse.

“If we intervene with the kids sooner, we get it fixed before it becomes a big deal,” said Paul Edmunds with the Granite School District. “We want to get key information to our parents, so they recognize the warning signs with these issues, and (we can) give them some resources to intervene.”

Parents attend seminar to help to support their children
by Devon Dolan
SALT LAKE CITY — According to Hope 4 Utah, Utah has the ninth highest youth suicide rate in the country, and four out of every 30 students in Utah will have a suicide plan.

Tommy Well with Hope 4 Utah hopes these seminars will help parents have tough conversations with their kids.

Fannie Corbero has two children in the Granite School District. She said her own sister was suicidal, so she attended a seminar Tuesday to learn the warning signs.

"Sometimes we don't have the information and sometimes the information is key to help our kids," Corbero said. "Sometimes they show us the red flag."

Salina Pickering said the bullying she experienced in high school led her to contemplate suicide, so she attended the seminar to help her daughter from experiencing the same thing.

"What they need is someone to listen to them," Wells said. "Don't be afraid to ask them, 'Hey, have you thought about hurting yourself?' "

Some suicide warning signs include:

  • Writing, drawing or talking about suicide
  • Isolate him or herself from friends and family
  • Expressed feelings of hopelessness
  • Acting impulsively
Suicide Prevention Hotlines:
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK
  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Crisis Line: 1-800-784-2433
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1- 866-488-7386

After each presentation in the series, agencies, counselors and advocacy groups will be at tables to answer any questions.

“If (parents) are recognizing that, oh wow, there may be an issue in my home, they can connect right there,” Edmunds said. “If not, then they will know what to look for.”

Parents of students in charter schools are also invited to attend. The first seminar is Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Granger High located at 3580 S. 3600 West in West Valley City. More seminars will be held at Granite high schools through October.

“Hopefully we can help change the culture, so people are more comfortable talking about this,” Edmunds said. “If we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t get dealt with.”

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Seminar schedule:

Tuesday, September 16 - Granger High School (3580 S. 3600 West)

Wednesday, September 17 - Olympus High School (4055 S. 2300 East)

Wednesday, October 8 - Granite Education Center (2500 S. State Street)

Thursday, October 9 - Hunter High School (4200 S. 5600 West)

Tuesday, October 28 - Taylorsville High School (5225 S. Redwood Road)

Wednesday, October 29 - Cottonwood High School (5715 S. 1300 East)

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Mary Richards

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