With gun suicides on the rise, a rare hotline staffed by St. Louis teens saves lives

Kids Under Twenty One has taken phone calls from thousands of St. Louis-area youth to its 24/7 crisis hotline and has educated many more students at 60 schools in four counties. Teens staff the hotline, a rarity. KUTO counters the myth that talking about teens' suicide risks encouraging suicides. Instead, education about mental health care and gun safety promotes intervention during critical moments and reduces the stigma associated with seeking help. Missouri's teen suicide rate is among the highest in the country, but the St. Louis area, where KUTO has worked for 20 years, is among the state's lowest.

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