After Colorado 9-year-old boy commits suicide, psychologists hoping for more awareness
After a 9-year-old boy in Colorado committed suicide because of bullying, you may be wondering what mental health resources are available for students that young in Central Texas.
According to child psychologist Dr. Stephen Kolar, it's going to be tough to have the number of counselors and amount of resources necessary for all the students in schools.
"If an elementary school has one, maybe two counselors, that's just not enough people to help with the hundreds of kids they might have at the school," said Kolar, a psychologist at the Austin Child Guidance Center.
On social media, the story of 9-year-old Jamel Myles has spread quickly.
His mother, Leia Pierce, says her son came out as gay, and when he told classmates in school, they told him to kill himself.
Now, child psychologists like Kolar are urging parents to pay attention to warning signs, and be ready to seek help for their children.
"A psychologist or a therapist can help the kid learn different ways of thinking, how to deal with the bullying," Kolar said. "They're going through lots of stresses in day to day life, and often their parents are unaware of the things that are bothering them."
According to studies, suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for children 10-14 years old.
But 60 percent of kids with depression are not getting treated.
Kolar says social media may play a part in why more children are coming forward, saying they feel depressed.
"Younger kids are exposed to this bullying that they wouldn't be exposed to as frequently if there wasn't social media."
Warning signs to watch for include: Your child talking about death or suicide, withdrawing from people, not liking doing things they used to like to do, among others.
AISD schools have licensed social workers and counselors available for students every day.
You can also visit the Austin Child Guidance Center if you need help.
The phone number for the National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.