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Des Moines Public Schools plan software rollout for students in crisis

The CDC reports suicide is the third most common cause of death among young people 10 to 24-years-old.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The third most common cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years old is suicide, according to the CDC.

This report has caught the attention of the Des Moines Public School District. That's why the district will be rolling out a new suicide prevention tool known as the GoGuardian Beacon software

"What it does is, on school district-owned devices, it will monitor search engines, social media, email, website visits that might indicate students are going to bring harm to themselves," said Phil Roder of DMPS. 

Suicide prevention is something Mary Neubauer has been advocating for ever since her son took his own life. 

"In 2017, my teenage son Sergei took his own life after a year's long battle with mental illness," Neubauer said. 

Neubauer said DMPS's new Beacon software is a wonderful idea. She said when we're thinking about strategies to prevent suicide, we have to be creative and try new things. 

"In this case, it sounds like the school leaders are trying to get intervention and help there as soon as possible," Neubauer said. "And that's going to be the best outcome or give you the best possible outcome, just like it would for any other medical condition." 

The software cost less than $2 per student, money Roeder said is well spent. 

"It's a pretty small investment for what we hope will pay big dividends and if that means that it prevents one student from committing suicide, it's more than paid for itself," Roeder said. 

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call '988' to get the help you need. 

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