As the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24, suicide is a major problem facing our youth. LGBTQ youth are at particular risk; LGBTQ youth are nearly five times as likely to attempt suicide as compared to heterosexual youth.
In order to continue the expansion of the children’s mental health system, we must ensure that educators are properly educated on suicide prevention. An appropriation of $5 million from the Iowa Legislature will help the Department of Education work with local school districts to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention training program and additional suicide prevention resources for teachers.
Each episode of LGBTQ bullying increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average. By providing the proper resources to Iowa’s teachers, we can help address the major issue of youth suicide in the state.