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'One Gilbert' works to prevent teen suicides

Posted at 5:41 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 00:23:21-04

GILBERT, AZ — The town of Gilbert is coming together to create a new way of thinking to prevent teen suicides.

It's a program called "One Gilbert," led by Mayor Jenn Daniels.

"It really opens the doors, not just to conversation and dialogue but to action and treatment and help," Daniels said.

The details aren't all set in stone, but that conversation will start with a survey that will soon be handed out to all kids in grades 6-12 who attend a school within a Gilbert zip code.

"Questions like, 'Do you have someone you can trust that you can talk to? Do you have a good friend at school?'" Daniels said.

Once the schools get back the results, they say changes will be made.

"Staffing might be different, more boots on the ground," said Katey McPherson, who was contracted by the town to be a consultant for the program. "Touch points at the school, more personnel that's trained and the only role they have at the school is crisis."

McPherson says the collaboration is a first of its kind in the state, and thousands of young lives depend on it.

Daniels says they still need approval from all the school boards before moving forward.