ST. LOUIS, Mo (KMOV.com) --A recent study found emergency room visits for suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts have nearly doubled in children 5-17-years in less than a decade.             

At Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, mental health is tackling head on by implementing "peace rooms."

The rooms are areas where students talk about positive ways of dealing with stress and anxiety.

“Helps me release a lot of stress and anxiety in my mind,” said Junior Rondell Singleton. “I’ve dealt with a lot of stress and depression in my past. People who express their feeling more they’re more understanding.”

Singleton says it has drastically helped him control his anger.

Student leaders introduced yoga, journaling and other focused techniques to the peace rooms.  

According to school administrators say this is needed even more so for their black students. Therapists say getting African-American students into their facilities is hard.

They say many try to self-medicate or turn to spiritual guidance because of how they were raised.

“If we bridge the gap adding more psychiatrists, adding more mental health doctors who are people of color into that world and bringing them into our schools and our open spaces saying ‘I'm here to help you, I know you, I am you and I want to work with you,”' said senior students and peace room facilitator Promise Mitchell.

Students told News 4 they deal with a lot of issues outside of school which follows into the classroom creating distractions and sometimes chaos. They say many classmates come to school with everything but school on their minds.

“It helped my optimism really” said student Perryn Marks. “At first it was getting shaky and I was losing my optimism for school and it gave me a wake up call, like it’s not over.”

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