A new behavorial center aimed help fight teen suicides
Thu, 19 Jan 2012 01:11:27 GMT —
His death captured national headlines and rallied immigration advocates, but the mother of Joaquin Luna has another goal, preventing teen suicides.
"His biggest dream was to become a civil engineer, Santa Mendoza Lerma sobbed. "I don TMt want others to go through what I TMve been trough.
Mendoza is hoping her pain serves as a lesson to other mothers to keep a close eye on their children's physical and mental health.
"I noticed that he become depressed, she said about her son Joaquin.
Back in November, the high school senior went into his bedroom and shot himself.
Though there are many factors to identify teen suicide, Clark Flatt said it is important to know them and to act.
"If you know someone and your concerned, and you've bee having it in the back of your mind I'm really worried about my friend I'm worried about my son or daughter, take action," he said.
Flatt is the president of the Jason Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in teen suicide awareness and prevention.
The foundation takes its name from Flatt TMs 16-yr-old son Jason, who took his own life back in 1997.
On Wednesday, Flatt helped launch the Jason Foundation's Office in the Valley, the first one in Deep South Texas.
It will offers free classes and workshops to three important groups to recognize the signs of teen suicide, with a special emphasis on students.
"Our young people see the changes in their friends way before anybody else, he said. It's important that we provide them the information and tools and resources to identify."
The Jason Foundation will work with school districts in the Valley to reach out to the students.
They will also be targetting two other crucial groups, teachers and parents.
"It TMs a big problem that we have and I dont think we've done a good job to be able to identify it," Joe Rodriguez added.
He is the CEO of the South Texas Behavorial Health Center in Edinburg, where the Jason Project TMs office will be located.
For more information on the Jason Foundation visit their website http://www.jasonfoundation.com
Anyone interested in brining the workshops to their school or business can contact the South Texas Behavorial Health Center at 956-388-1300.