Task Force on Suicide Prevention set to hold third meeting

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Almost two months after the first meeting, the Speaker's Task Force on Suicide Prevention is preparing to hold their third meeting in Ripon on Monday afternoon.

Each meeting has a specific focus, and Monday's will look at suicide in young people.

"Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth. You see at the age of 14, 15 is when some mental health conditions do start presenting themselves," said State Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan), who chairs the task force.

Presenters will include the Department of Public Instruction, the Office of Children's Mental Health and the UW System.

Lawmakers want to know how to best train teachers and counselors and how to teach young people to recognize signs that someone could be considering suicide.

"People will talk about in these situations, where they didn’t realize that the person was struggling to the point where they either attempt or do take their own lives, and so if we can make sure people understand some of those processes," Ballweg said.

The task force will have three more meetings across the state after Mondays. Some of these meetings will focus on farmers and first responders.

The task force hopes to make their final recommendations in September, which is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.