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Ill. panel seeks advice preventing youth suicide

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:16 AM
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Ill. panel seeks advice preventing youth suicide
What is going on? This is tragic.

Ill. panel seeks advice preventing youth suicide

DEANNA BELLANDI | March 7, 2009 10:08 AM EST | AP

CHICAGO Trying to come to grips with the recent suicides of three young children, Illinois lawmakers are asking experts for advice about how to prevent future tragedies.

With many families struggling to cope with a widening recession, it's more important than ever to identify at-risk children and get them help, experts told a House committee on Friday.

"We are living at an incredibly stressful time in this country and studies have shown that there is an effect on kids' brains that have been chronically exposed to stress and that ultimately it can lead to ... development of mental health disorders or issues," said Dr. Diahann Meekins Moore, associate director for psychiatric services at the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.

The rush for a very public discussion of youth suicides came in the wake of three suicides last month by children 11 years old and younger. By comparison, eight Illinois children 11 years old and younger committed suicide in the eight years between 2000 and 2007, DCFS said.

On Feb. 3, a 10-year-old boy hanged himself in the toilet stall of his Evanston school, according to the Cook County medical examiner. A day later, an 11-year-old boy was found dead in Chatham, south of Springfield. On Feb. 18, a father found his 11-year-old daughter hanging from a clothing hook in a closet of their Chicago home.

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