Spokane Public Schools to host suicide prevention symposium

Spokane Public Schools will be hosting a suicide prevention symposium on Thursday to help students and parents access resources and get answers to tough questions from a panel of experts.

The symposium will be held at North Central High School on Thursday, March 29th. A resource fair will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:15 and a panel of experts will be available from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

“Last year it became evident with the continued attempts and completions that we need to pull together systemically as a community,” said Chris Moore with Spokane Public Schools.

“It’s not just a school issue, it’s a community issue with our youth and college-age students,” said Moore.

Moore hopes the symposium will open up communication between parents and kids about suicide. Moore said it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide. Moore also encourages parents to directly ask if their child is thinking about self-harm.

“There is a misnomer out there that if we ask the question it will plant the seed and it’s actually the opposite. If we don’t address, it is going to push the kids further away and they are more apt to do it if we don’t engage in those conversations with them,” said Moore.

Signs and symptoms of suicide include feeling depressed, withdrawing from friends and activities, threatening to harm themselves, changes in sleep, and showing rage or increase in anxiety.

“We need to build the community capacity, family capacity, everyone’s capacity to be able to identify signs and symptoms and to be able to step in and provide support and know what resources are out there,” said Moore.