Rancho Cucamonga School Districts Focus on Mental Health Training Following String of Student Suicides

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Counselors and psychologists are on hand at Rancho Cucamonga schools this week following a string of student suicides in the area.

A 10-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl killed themselves between Aug. 6 and Aug. 19, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said in a news release.

A 16-year-old boy also killed himself within that time frame, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The deaths are not related nor are they suspicious, sheriff’s officials said. Though the motive behind the suicides remains unknown, there is no evidence to indicate the children were bullied, sheriff's spokesperson Cindy Bachman said.

“It’s really just an unknown at this time. It’s heartbreaking for these families not to have answers," she said.

The students were enrolled in Rancho Cucamonga, Etiwana, and Alta Loma schools, according to the Chaffey Joint Union High School District officials. One of the students had previously attended Los Osos.

“We care deeply about our students and have deployed counseling teams of trained therapists at each of our schools to help students and our staff through their grief,” district Superintendent Mat Holton said in a letter to parents.

Officials are refocusing their efforts on mental health services and suicide prevention, the Times reported.

In total, 18 marriage and family therapists, 54 counselors, 27 psychologists and five psychotherapists are available to students across the district’s 12 schools, according to the newspaper.

Aside from having mental health experts and marriage and family counselors available at the campuses, district officials have also formed a mental health task force who are working on improving services. Officials are also forming a community task force to work together to meet mental health needs, improve preventative measures, and increase wellness.

The district also partners with outside agencies, including San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, to provide counseling to those who need it.

If you are or a loved one is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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