APS calls parents to advise mental health help available
Posted at: 09/11/2013 6:08 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The Albuquerque Public School District did something it doesn’t normally do.
It made a district-wide call to parents to talk about a problem across the nation and New Mexico.
APS parents got a call Tuesday that threw some off.
"It was just a little shocking . I heard just the first part of the message," said Marcella Meek.
The district wide calls are rare and are usually reserved in case there’s a fire or a violent act at school
The school district sent out more than 87,000 messages district-wide saying:
“If your child is experiencing stress related to school, bullying or a mental health issue, you can take advantage of UNM's Agora Crisis Line.”
"We really really hope that someone heard the message that really needed it," said Monica Armenta, spokesperson for APS.
So why the call?
Tuesday was World Suicide Prevention Day.
This is also Suicide Prevention Week.
Agora Crisis Center partnered with APS for the public service announcement.
Initially, the plan was to broadcast that message to students over the intercom.
"We told them that might be a little disruptive, hard for students to understand so we decided instead to use our school messenger system," said Armenta.
According to national data, suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10 to 24 year olds.
Agora gets about 20,000 calls a year.
"Unfortunately with suicides NM has a high rate. We rank currently fifth in the nation. This is a per capita statistic," said Jeremy Jaramillo, associate director of Agora.
"One of the best things you can do for your child is to listen," said the last part of the phone message.
And it is a message many parents are grateful for.
“I'm a pediatrician so I think it's really important for families to have the resources they need," said Gillian Harris.
“I'm glad they're opening up and realizing that some kids do have problems and need a little extra help," said Meek.