Davenport police and school leaders are launching a teen suicide prevention partnership. School superintendent Art Tate says teachers are already trained in suicide prevention and they’ve talked to students about who they can contact if they need help.
Tate says a meeting tonight is open to the public to question representatives from the schools, the city, the police department and mental health agencies. “We hope people will avail themselves of the opportunity to come to this event,” Tate says. “If they can’t, they need to know that if they call the city or if they call the school district and talk to anyone, someone will be able to help them and give them a resource that they can contact.”
Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba says he got a call from a woman whose daughter committed suicide last year which prompted the city and school district to start the initiative. The mayor is also promoting the police department’s smartphone app, “Do What’s Right,” which allows people to submit anonymous tips about someone who may be suicidal. “The idea of the program that we’ve instituted is to get to those kids early,” Mayor Gluba says, “so when they have a friend who’s talking about suicide or has just gone through a recent tragedy in their personal lives, they can anonymously hit that app and immediately, the information goes to our police department.”
Gluba says the smartphone app has already helped prevent some teens in Davenport from taking their own lives. Tonight’s meeting is at 6 o’clock at Davenport North High School. Items on the agenda include identifying the warning signs of suicide and learning how to get help.