Officials address 'suicide contagion' after 6 deaths in northeast Ohio school district

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Parents in a northeast Ohio town are being asked to watch their children closely after six students in the same district took their lives.

The Perry Local Schools District in Canton along with law enforcement and mental health experts expressed their concern on Friday.

Four high school students, one middle school student and a recent graduate all ended their lives within this school year.

Health experts are calling this a "suicide contagion." It means exposure to suicide can increase suicidal behavior in others.

Police do not believe the suicides are connected nor were they prompted by a certain factor.

The district began a suicide prevention program this school year and they will bring in crisis teams this week.

Suicides are the second leading cause of death for people between the age of 10 and 24.

If you are having issues or know someone who is, reach out to the resources we have listed below.

  • Online: http://suicidepreventionservices.org/site/call-the-hotline/
  • National Suicide Hotline - (800)273-8255 – 24/7
  • Franklin County Suicide Prevention Hotline – (614) 221-5445 – 24/7
  • Suicide Text Line (614) 221-5445 – Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Teen Hotline (614) 294-3300 – 24/7
  • Senior Hotline (614) 294-3309 – 24/7
  • Suicide Prevention Services – (614) 299-6600 ext. 2073
  • North Central Mental Health Services – (614) 299-6600