Queen Creek schools expanding counseling resources

QUEEN CREEK, AZ -

Since 2007, the suicide rate among adolescents and teens has been trending the wrong direction. The rate for middle schoolers has doubled and, according to the CDC, 8 percent of high school students report attempting suicide each year.

"Students need to come to school and feel safe -- and safety's one of our number one priorities," said Mary Masellis, Lead Psychologist for the Queen Creek Unified School District.

In the last decade, Masellis says the district has been working to expand counseling and mental health resources. Beginning this fall, full-time counselors will be available at each of Queen Creek’s eight campuses.

"All counselors work together. They meet on a regular basis. Psychologists meet on a monthly basis," she said.

In May, a Queen Creek high schooler took his life. Through its partnerships – including one that offers a 24-7 crisis line – the district was able to bring in extra counselors to specifically work with at-risk students.

"We're always communicating; we're always adapting what we need to do based on the scenarios that are given to us in present."

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