Suicide Prevention Week: Talking to kids about mental health

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) —It is National Suicide Prevention Week, and with kids under immense pressure amid the pandemic, it’s a good time to shine a light on the second-leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24. Mental health experts say it starts with getting rid of the stigma around mental health and leading by example.

“We as adults modeling the fact that we talk about our mental health the same way we talk about our physical health it only goes to show our young people that they too can tell people when they’re not feeling OK,” said Sandra Goldmeer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Capital Region chapter has partnered with the Albany City School District for a program called “More than Sad” to help parents of teens identify what depression might look like. Goldmeer says it doesn’t necessarily mean crying in the corner, but a change in behavior.
“Are they no longer reaching out to their friends, are they no longer connecting with people who normally give them comfort, are they no longer participating in the activities that bring them joy? All of those things can be a sign and especially when it starts to be more than one of them. It never hurts to have that discussion to say, ‘are you OK?’”

Goldmeer says research shows asking someone directly if they’re considering suicide can be a preventative measure. If you need help starting that conversation, AFSP has guide to do so and here is a list of virtual events happening for Suicide Prevention Week.

If you need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline open 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

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