Olathe School District says new mental health evaluations are already saving lives

OLATHE, Kan. -- Teen suicides continue to rise.

So, for the first time ever, the Olathe School District is using a new tool to help students better understand the state of their mental health.

This fall, every high school student at every school will take this self-evaluation.

It’s called SOS – the signs of suicide prevention program.

Students will not turn this in but will score themselves to learn if they need to reach out for help.

Last week they did it for the first time at Olathe South, and 133 kids ended up getting counseling services that day.

Six of them ended up in the hospital.

"Those are six students who we would not of known needed that kind of help if we had not done this. We are literally saving lives with this program," Olathe Schools Counseling Coordinator Angie Salava said.

Organizers of this program say on average, 12-percent of the student body will reach out for help.

They have a team of counselors ready at the schools on the day of the exams - to give these troubled students the help they need so they won’t take their own life.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

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