Program Expands To Prevent Teen Suicide

One focus of this organization is identifying mental health issues early. One program is called Teen Screen and is offered in metro school districts that want it. It's clear the Jenks School District isn't just offering lip service when it comes to caring about it's students and here's why. When the Mental Health Association offered to do screenings for students...Jenks said yes.

"Actually the teen screen was developed for 9th graders," says Melanie Fry who tells us they've also been invited to do assessments for teens at East Central and Memorial. The program is also expanding to the Oklahoma City area.Melanie Fry is a Teen Screen Consultant.

"It will identify feelings of sadness or being stressed or worrying all the time and sometimes it validates what they've never been able to talk to anybody about," she says. Wayne Ossman knows the value in mental health assessments early on and recalls incidents with his son. "I've experienced him having outbursts at the spur of the moment, with no question of why."There are locks throughout Ossman's home. He says his 15 year old son has tried to harm himself, siblings and others. His son is in treatment."And he has no remorse of what he does." Ossman sees the value in mental health assessments so that other parents can help their children earlier.

"To find out what mental problems are really out there before they can get real bad. Before kids can get out there in the real world on their own and end up getting in trouble and they don't know right from wrong," says Ossman.