7 Investigates: Preview: Preventing youth suicide

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MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) -- For the first time the Marathon County Health Department’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey has shown an eye opening number of county middle schoolers say they are making suicide attempts.

“In an average classroom of 20 to 25 students, one of them had attempted suicide,” Marathon County Health Department Educator Hannah Schommer said.

After seeing those numbers, a coalition of county health leaders took action.

"Hopefully the majority of them have then been reached. They're getting the resources they need," Wausau Psychotherapist Carla Jones said.

Outside of school hallways, Angelica Krautkramer whose brother Jonny Wesener died by suicide when he was 16-years-old, hopes her new support group is playing an equally important role.

"When we started my parents focused mainly on the bullying aspect. And we didn't focus too much on the mental health aspect,” Krautkramer said. “And as time has gone on I think we've targeted more of the mental health. Because it's the thing that affects children everywhere."

7 Investigates will reveal what new data shows about how students are responding to county heath leader’s plan addressing the mental health care gap in their effort to prevent youth suicides, Thurs. Dec 20, only on WZAW News at 9:00 and NewsChannel 7 at 10:00.

Editor’s note: Because discussing suicide can be a triggering event, for immediate help or support contact: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-TALK (8285); The Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1); Crisis Text Line: Text 741-741 to connect to a trained crisis counselor