Utah school districts ramp up suicide prevention efforts



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OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Two Utah school districts are boosting their suicide prevention efforts after a recent investigation shed light on the state's spike in youth suicides.

The Standard-Examiner reports every secondary school in both the Weber and Ogden school districts now have Hope Squads, or groups comprised of students who are trained to watch for at-risk students, provide friendship, and seek help from adults.

Ogden School District spokesman Jer Bates says the district is starting to put Jr. Hope Squads in the elementary schools.

Bates says the younger squads focus on building resilience and healthy life skills.

Weber plans to launch Hope Squads in two of its four elementary schools in 2018.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigation found suicides among Utah youth increased 141.3 percent from 2011 to 2015.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net

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The Associated Press

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