One Ohio state lawmaker's personal tragedy is leading to big changes in how educators are trained to deal with suicide prevention.
State Representative Marlene Anielski can count the number of days since her son Joe took his own life.
A bracelet on her wrist reminds her of the son who was popular in high school, and she says showed no signs of despair.
"We lost Joe three years ago, five months, two weeks and two days," said Anielski. "Since we didn't know anything that he was struggling emotionally, we thought what else can we do to help others."
Anielski helped push through the Jason Flatt Act, signed into law earlier this year by Gov. John Kasich.
It mandates that all public schools train their teachers and staff in suicide prevention.
The training is free to all public schools and available to charter and public schools.
Anielski's legislation is now being used as the model for other states.
"I was in 8th grade when Joe passed away," said friend Kevin Stankiewicz. "It really took a toll on me because I was just starting to get old enough to understand about suicide and what happened."
Stankiewicz says the sudden death created talk among his classmates about how to recognize those who may be contemplating suicide.
"You didn't see any signs from Joe, so it's important to me to share Joe's story to my friends," said Stankeiwicz. "Anybody who asks me about the bracelet I wear for Joe, I always tell them so they understand it's important to talk about suicide. I think it's important to get it out."
Professional educators like Dr Gordon Gee, President Emeritus from The Ohio State University, say they're still perplexed on why so many of these youth suicides occur each year.
"So many of the young people who commit suicide are very healthy and appear to be healthy and have great friends," said Gee. "So one does not know what goes through one's mind."
Gee says suicide is the second leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old.
Anielski says that number must drop.
"We want all of our young people to make it and have a happy life and not end so tragically in a preventable death," said Anielski.
A person dies by suicide about every 14 minutes in the United States, according to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
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