Suicide Prevention Month Event to Alert Parents of Warning Signs

Suicide Prevention Month Event to Alert Parents of Warning Signs
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Experts say open conversations about suicide with kids can save their lives.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people ages ten to eighteen. During September, National Suicide Prevention month, experts will give advice about how to see the warning signs.

Freeman Ozark Center plans an event called Break the Code of Silence..It will include QPR training which stand for question, persuade and refer. It will
help adults learn how to talk to someone who might have suicidal thoughts… The prevention program will be held Friday, September 14th from one to three o’clock in the afternoon at the Joplin Public Library.
The event will also include free depression screenings, a panel discussion of the controversial Netflix show 13 Reasons Why and a balloon launch.

Doctor John Ackerman of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio urges parents not to wait for a crisis to address suicide concerns. He advises parents to look for changes in a child’s mood or behavior. And says it is safe to ask kids,”Have you considered taking your own life?”

Dr. Ackerman explained, “Talking to a young person directly about suicide does not increase their risk for suicide. But it does increase the chances that they’ll talk to us and get help that they need.”

Deylyn Medina, Ackerman’s patient said, “I had that direct conversation when I was thirteen. I ran away from home and when I got home my parents asked me that same thing. They asked me if I was considering suicide and I said yes. Because of that it was easier to talk to them.”

Dr. Ackerman says fifty percent of mental health issues start by age fourteen and we need to keep the conversation going.