In the past two months, 14 children have taken their own lives prompting the Georgia Child Fatality Review to issue an initiative to step up training in this area. GCFR, in a partnership with the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Department of Public Health, conducted a series of Suicide Prevention Summits for school personnel and, because Gwinnett has had suicides of children under age 18 reported for three consecutive years, it was the location for one of the summits. Sessions also took place in Macon, Rome and Gainesville, which all had suicides of under age 18 for three straight years.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations reported that 200 education professionals were given child death data on youth suicide as well as suicide prevention training. They were also given resources and tips on dealing with a suicide death should it occur in their school. More of these summits are planned for other location in the state in September.
In order to raise awareness about this issue, the GBI and GCFR have initiated a new protocol to notify local school boards if one of their students commits suicide. This is an effort to involve teachers, administrators, students, support personnel, caregivers and community volunteers in dealing with, and preventing, future suicide deaths in children.
More about GCFR
The main purpose of the GCFR program is to prevent deaths. The mission of GCFR is to serve Georgia’s children by promoting more accurate identification and reporting of child fatalities, evaluating the prevalence and circumstances of both child abuse cases and child fatality investigations, and monitoring the implementation and impact of the statewide child injury prevention plan to prevent and reduce incidents of child abuse and fatalities in the state.