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Community meeting aims to curb ‘epidemic’ of teen suicides

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Amidst "crisis levels" of depression and suicide in Quad City teens, parents and students took a first step towards curbing the epidemic Tuesday night.

Davenport school and city leaders hosted a community meeting Tuesday at Davenport North High School. More than 100 attendees filled the cafeteria, visiting booths to learn about suicide prevention and mental health resources.

Among them was Kellsey Foor, who said she was unaware that so many options for help existed.

"I've been to the point where I tried committing suicide, and I didn't get as much help," said Foor. "It just feels so good to be a part of helping make a difference."

Foor's friend, 14-year-old Alice Schmitt, was one of two teenaged girls in Scott County who hung themselves within a matter of five days in early April. Mental health experts say at least four adolescents have killed themselves in Scott County this past year.

Tuesday, Schmitt's mom said she hoped some good could come from the horrible tragedy.

"Awareness -- not only in the schools, but by the students, by the parents... that the whole community comes together," said Schmitt.

Experts agreed that talking about the often-taboo topic of suicide and depression was the most important thing that parents and friends could do.

"There doesn't need to be anymore suicides, here or anywhere," said Emilee Donelson.

And Foor says she wishes other teens knew how much they're needed and loved in the Quad Cities.

"It gets so much better. It's always getting better, day by day," said Foor.