New training has been put into place in Delaware for front line school personnel in Kent and Sussex Counties to recognize early signs of trauma in children and to detect depression in teens. This comes after a rash of 11 suicides and 116 attempted suicides between January 1st and May 4th of 2012. Dr. Alex Crosby, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC tells WGMD it is possible to recognize risk factors for youths. Last years suicides were among 12 to 21 year olds in 5 schools in Kent & Sussex Counties. The incidents show where more training is needed for anyone working with children and teens to recognize the signs.
Dr. Crosby says that while there may be vulnerable people in the community, it’s often difficult to predict who might engage in suicidal behavior. However he says that suicide clusters are more often youths and adolescents in more rural settings – they are rarely adults in more urban settings.
Dr. Crosby says more needs to be done in mental health awareness training, developing partnerships with community institutions to help address the needs of youth through programs and activities. They also need to monitor trends in youth suicide behavior to evaluate the effectiveness of programs or interventions. State officials are also looking to increase mental heath resources at the middle school level where they are currently nearly non-existent.
Additional resources - Youth Suicide Prevention & Response Support
State of Delaware link to resources available - Delaware’s 24-hour Child Priority Response Hotline:
1-800-969- HELP (4357) or dial 9-1-1 for emergency response.
Youth Suicide Prevention & Response Support
Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide
(Additional resources and VIDEO instruction)
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center
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