Twenty Percent of Cleveland Public High School Students Attempted Suicide in 2015



News Channel 5 reported this morning that students at Cleveland Public High Schools are among the most likely to attempt suicide in the country.

A Center for Disease Control (CDC) report found that 20 percent of high school students enrolled at CMSD tried to kill themselves in 2015. This was the highest rate of attempted suicide among the 19 urban school districts the CDC surveyed.

According to school officials, poverty is closely linked to this statistic. More than 70 percent of CMSD students live below the poverty line and nearly 4,000 of them are homeless. The stressors of life are so well-known to CMSD administrators that the numbers didn't even surprise them.

They've been taking steps to mitigate the problem, chief among them a "Humanware" program — "hardware for the student's soul" — that includes counseling, intervention, and a rapid response team in the event of a suicide attempt.

CMSD has nearly 200 school psychologists, nurses and counselors who serve as first responders.

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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