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Chagrin Valley educators meet to talk mental health

Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 18:12:38-05

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — Educators piled into Beachwood High School on a mission to tackle the touchy subject of student suicide in the Chagrin Valley Conference, where multiple students have taken their own lives.

"We wanted to be able to do more, we wanted to make sure that after that happened that we were better prepared," said Beachwood High School assistant principal Ryan Patti.

Patti teamed up other educators to bring in more than 200 people from across the conference in 20 districts to talk mental health.

"Each attending district to be able to then go back into their own district and run this within their own student body, and their own staff," he said.

For the entire day educators spoke to experts in relationship building, identifying stresses, modern day education and much more.

"I would say at least 75-80% of behavior issues are social emotional issues," said Markiel Perkins the principal at Cardinal High School.

Students at his school were traumatized last year when one of their own committed suicide, so Perkins took action.

"We have hired a full-time therapeutic behavior specialist," said Perkins.

And he's not done yet.

"We are dealing with this on an unprecedented level," said Perkins. "It's not just the behavior its the underlying things that are going on in our scholars lives that we don't always necessarily know about."

Perkins and many of the educators volunteered for the regional crisis team so if something like this ever happens again all the districts in the conference will be ready to share resources.