Youth with physical and mental health disorders are at an increased risk of not graduating from high school, at an increased risk for suicide, and can carry the disorders into adulthood, creating lifelong issues for themselves and their families. Mental health issues can include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations. Physical issues can include eating disorders, physical abuse, self-harm, and obesity. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth ages 15-19 in the United States and recently surpassed vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death among adolescents in middle school. In Comal County instances of adolescent death from suicide are skyrocketing to crisis levels. There have been adolescent suicides in Guadalupe County this year, but statistics are not yet available
CIS provides mental health services, including contracted mental health counselors and the implementation of our Signs Of Suicide (SOS) program to focus on student’s mental health and suicide prevention. SOS provides tools for adults and students to identify signs and symptoms of depression, suicidality, and self-injury in themselves and their peers and teaches students the importance of involving a caring adult to get help for suicidal peers. This school-based mental health program is designed to help youth navigate the often difficult path of adolescence. Using a simple and easy-to remember acronym ACT (acknowledge, care, and tell), students learn steps to take if they encounter a situation that requires help from a trusted adult.