Nearly 1,000 parents and students attended a community meeting in Southlake Monday night to talk about teen depression and suicide.
“The problems I think are the same as many other communities but we’re really putting our foot down and saying we’ve got to talk about this and we’ve got to do something about it” says organizer Laura Hill, with Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids (SPARK).
SPARK held three similar meetings this past fall focused on drugs and alcohol use, but after last month’s drug overdose deaths of two students from Carroll Senior High School, interest in Monday night’s meeting spiked.
“I think it just shows people that this is really happening here, you can’t just ignore it any more," says high school junior Clayton Archer, “...and those deaths really showed that we have a problem here and kids need help."
Students themselves suggested the topic for Monday’s meeting, after three teen suicides and 14 attempted suicides in Southlake since 2010.
“I just think it was important to show like what this can do to you, how suicide can affect other people and drugs, and just to find healthier ways to be able to handle stress and depression and stuff like that," says high school junior Jennifer Anderson.
The city now has a task force looking for better ways to keep kids safe, addressing everything from drug and alcohol use, depression and suicide, to school security.
The task force expects to make some recommendations by the end of March.