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High Poverty Blamed for Suicidal Behavior Among Cleveland Public School Students

ADAMHS Board official say high poverty drives the high suicidal behavior of Cleveland public school students
ADAMHS Board of Cuyahgoa County
ADAMHS Board official say high poverty drives the high suicidal behavior of Cleveland public school students

According to a new federal survey, a larger portion of Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school students attempt suicide than in many other major city school systems.  

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voluntary survey of students in 19 urban school districts, more than 20 percent of Cleveland students attempted suicide in 2015. Another 20 percent said they seriously considered taking their own life. Bill Denihan is CEO of theAlcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County. He says the numbers are not surprising considering Cleveland’s poverty rate.

“On any one day Cleveland, Ohio could be number one, two or three in America with the poverty level.  And in housing there are more children who are homeless than adults in this area. And I think those two factors are major factors that we have to be mindful of when we’re talking about this.”

Cleveland school officials say the district has many effective programs that help students considering suicide. And, they add that the CDC survey’s margin of error puts Cleveland even with other high-poverty cities like Detroit and Chicago.

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Kevin Niedermier
Kevin was raised in New Washington in rural North Central Ohio. He attended Bowling Green State University and Ashland College (now Ashland University) before beginning his career in commercial radio news.