HELENA — A Montana suicide study panel is asking state lawmakers to consider legislation next year requiring mandatory depression screening of all school children starting at age 11.
The Suicide Mortality Team also recommends programs to teach coping skills and resiliency to 1st and 2nd graders.
Montana had the highest suicide rate in the nation in 2014, according to the latest available national figures.
The suicide mortality team recently released a study of 555 suicides in Montana between January 2014 and March 2016. Twenty-seven of those were children between 11 and 17.
Karl Rosston is the suicide prevention coordinator for the Department of Public Health and Human Services. He said Friday that suicide prevention and the treatment of depression should begin with giving kids the skills to handle life.
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