RCAS continues to address youth suicide prevention

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The Rapid City Area Schools say they've recently had an alarming number of suicides.

RCAS says three students have taken their own lives since the end of July.

In order to address this issue, Tuesday night the school district hosted a community meeting on youth suicide at Western Dakota Tech.

RCAS says their office has received more than 70 referrals from students thinking about suicide since the start of the school year.

Corey Harouff from Rapid City Young Life says this spike in suicides tells him that a lot of kids are hurting in this town and believes when we feel hopeless, we do dangerous things to ourselves.

Corey Harouff says, "They're asking questions of do I matter? Who am I? What is - is there a purpose for my life? And kids need to know that there's an unbelievable purpose for their lives and how they find that out is they've got to have caring adults that really know them and walk with them that can let htem know, 'Hey man. You have unbelievable worth.' You have - there is hope. You have a God who made you and loves you and is crazy about you.">

Studies say suicide has become the second-leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States.

Harouff suggests parents spend a few hours of quality time with their children each week doing something they want to do.