02:50 AM

Children's Mercy makes effort to address suicide risks before it's too late

Children's Mercy Hospital is taking extra steps to identify young people struggling to deal with everyday life. The hospital offers questionnaires to teen patients, in an effort to lower the number of people who die by suicide.

"We're finding we're able to identify a lot of young people in advance so we can prevent suicides," Dr. Shayla Sullivant, a psychiatrist at Children's Mercy Hospital said. "I think that one of the myths is that suicide is not preventable. And that's just wrong."

Dr. Sullivant says the number of young people who die by suicide in both Kansas and Missouri is above the national average; she says that about eight percent of young people have had a suicide attempt in the past year.

"Many people that are struggling really want to end the suffering and so if they actually ask the question many are going to respond," Dr. Sullivant said.

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