CDC investigates suicide outbreak in Stark County

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - News coverage of a dozen suicides by young people in and around the Perry Local Schools has done a good jobs of illuminating the pain of the problem.

From anguished parents at a rally in front of Perry High School, to a group of recent grads mulling the same thing at lunch.

The frustration is palpable.

What the coverage and no one else has been able to provide are solutions, something voiced well by Emily Brown who's brother, just a freshman committed suicide.

"It's just gonna stop out of somewhere. I feel it will keep happening if they don't take any further action toward this," Brown said.

It is tragic that suicides at Perry and others even occurred.

But could there be a silver lining.

Is there something to be learned that could be the genesis of prevention protocols.

Perry Superintendent Scott Beatty thinks the entry of the Center for Disease Control into the area to study the problem is a start

"Any time you can get another entity to take a look at something and maybe pick up something that can be valuable moving forward," Beatty said.

Beatty said it has been a difficult year, but said clearly his difficulties can't possibly compare to the unimaginable loss the student's families are experiencing.

That is why he welcomes the CDC coming into the equation.

While the agency is more well known for viral or bacterial outbreaks they've done suicide studies like this before.

One was in Santa Clara California, encouraging to Superintendent Beatty who hasn't met with them yet.

"Their expertise and the work they put into this, whatever that might be that there'd be something to garner for all families and all students," Beatty said.

What did the CDC suggest in California?

The answer is that a lot of factors work into the problem, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders as well as recent crises and problems at school.

The bottom line, teachers and parents being more familiar with signs of trouble and that means getting closer to kids, knowing them and developing one on one trust.

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. For helpful tools and resources that we can use to help prevent teen suicide click here.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.