RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA) – A spate of recent youth suicides has rocked parents in Rancho Cucamonga.
It all started when an 11-year-old student from Victoria Groves Elementary took his own life earlier this month.
“It’s only elementary school, so that was really quite upsetting to hear that a child that young would have no one to go to,” said mom Katie Ganser. “That’s pretty sad.”
But it wasn’t an isolated incident.
In the last two weeks, three other students from Etiwanda, Rancho Cucamonga, and Alta Loma high schools have also taken their own lives.
Investigators say the cases do not appear suspicious.
The other students all attended different high schools in the city, and there is no indication that they knew each other.
Mental health experts say the number is alarming.
“Teenage suicide is on the rise nationally, but not like this,” Dr. Timothy Hougen of the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health.
School administrators declined to comment on the cases for privacy reasons. But the Alta Loma superintendent released a statement saying, “The District has rallied around the family, students and staff to provide support and resources during this difficult time.”
Chaffey Joint Union superintendent sent a letter to parents saying, “We care deeply about our students and have deployed counseling teams of trained therapists at each of our schools to help students and our staff through their grief.”
While the county continues to work with schools on programs that tackle issues like suicide, bullying and self-esteem, they say parents also play an important role.