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App Created to Help Mississippi Teens Struggling with Acts o

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App Created to Help Mississippi Teens Struggling with Acts of Violence
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"Students Against Violence" App Press Conference
Jasmine Ellis

Students in Mississippi struggling with thoughts of suicide--or in a home where there is domestic violence-- can now turn to local and national resources for help. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

Experts in Mississippi have created the "Students Against Violence" app to help teens who are dealing with different situations including bullying, self-harm, and youth drug abuse. The attorney general's office is partnering with different organizations and state agencies -- including the Department of Education and the National Alliance on Mental Illness -- on this project. Attorney General Jim Hood says they are trying to meet kids where they are through this app to prevent violent situations including at schools.

"Kids are looking online they see where others are journaling or making statements about what they intend to do and we adults aren't," said Hood. "We in law enforcement would like to be but the fact is kids know it before we know it. And we want them to let us know when there's a potential for violence on school grounds."

Attorney General Hood says this application -- which includes local and national resources -- is the first of its kind in the nation to include various issues that affect youth.

There's a category on depression and anxiety within the app. The National Alliance on Mental Illness -- or NAMI -- has partnered on this project. Tameka Tobias is with NAMI. She says she hopes this app will encourage parents to have conversations with their children.

"We want our children to know as well as the families and schools and educators to know that it is OK to seek help," said Tobias. "Once we say that it is OK, from there we can assist with the problems that our children and our youth are experiencing these days."

The "Students Against Violence" application is free and can be downloaded on iPhone and Android phones.