SAN ANTONIO – Natalie Hierholzer, director of guidance services for North East Independent School District, says an increase in students dying by suicide is alarming.
“A lot of our kids are having a difficult time being at home and virtual,” Hierholzer said.
Hierholzer said she is urging the district and counselors to review the protocols to help students deal with mental health following student deaths by suicide and other attempted suicides this school year.
The numbers, provided by the district, show an increase in student deaths by suicide since 2018.
- 2018-19: 0
- 2019-20: 3
- 2020-21: 7
Hierholzer said that there are a lot of factors, which lead to the increase, COVID-19 being one of them. But she says counselors are having difficulty communicating with parents and guardians on effective ways to educate and intervene.
“They’re not maybe giving them all the details of what’s going on, like little pieces and that makes it difficult to work together with the family to help these kids,” Hierholzer said.
The concerning trend, Hierholzer says, is likely the same across San Antonio and the nation.