How To Prevent Suicide Among Tweens

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SANTA FE, N.M. ― As with most after-school clubs, the meeting inside Ortiz Middle School begins with kids bumping and jostling into a classroom. A boy with green hair grabs a bag of chips off a table, taking a seat next to a girl. He invites her to share the snack. Another student adjusts the tie-dye bandana she’s using as a headband and shows her friend a funny meme on her phone.

The adult advisers, Robert Kristy and Katrina Koehler, ask everyone to take a seat on the floor in a circle, assuring them that pizza has been ordered and will be delivered shortly.

Koehler asks, “So, on a scale of happy to crappy, how’s your suicide?”

Forget the volleyball team or chess club. This group, which has been meeting weekly since 2015, was formed in the spirit of Project Semicolon, an…


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