Tempe Union HS Dist. adding suicide hotline to all student ID's

Tempe Union High School District included Teen Lifeline information on high school student IDs as a preventative measure against teen suicide.

Tempe, Ariz. - Recent studies show the percentage of youth hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the U.S. has doubled over the past decade.

Now, high school students in Tempe will have a Teen Lifeline hotline number printed on the back of their student ID's.

"All seven of our schools, 14,000 kids have access to our teen lifeline hotline," said Jennifer Liewer, Executive Director of Community Relations for Tempe Union High School District.

The back of the ID's say: If you feel like giving up, please don't! There is help and there is hope. Call Teen Lifeline 24/7. 602-248.8336. #YoureNotAlone!

Mountain Pointe High School became the first to add the lifeline to ID's last year.

"It's really important because sometimes people just need someone to talk to and students are hard to go to because sometimes they don't have the ability to get out of their own head space and communicate properly. So it's good to have someone that doesn't know who you are or judge you on anything that you are going through and just says, 'Hey I'm here to listen,'" said Jayla Alston, Junior at Mountain Pointe and a mentor to freshmen.

"We just felt it was another resource," said Sonia Salazar, Department Chair of Guidance. "We're responsible for academics, but we are also responsible for the social and emotional health of our students."

A variety of reasons could be leading to higher suicidal thoughts for youth.

"Social pressure, social media, a lot of expectations are put on these students and sometimes home life isn't great," said Salazar.

First day of class is August 7th for Tempe Union High School District, and every student will have help that's one phone call away.

"I'm happy the school recognizes that this is a problem and that people need help and students need help," said Alston.

For more information, visit Teen Life's website.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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