Brevard Youth Mental Health Task Force Dedicated to Reducing Teen Suicides With Countywide Approach

By  //  January 27, 2018

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Worried about a teen in crisis? Stop. Ask. Listen. Act. Get Support

In March 2017, over 30 community leaders led by Liz Mikitarian, Vice President of the Hannah’s Heroes Teen Suicide Prevention and Lori Duester from the Children’s Center and the Sources of Strength Teen Suicide Prevention Program, formed the Youth Mental Health Task Force to reduce the rate of teen suicides and suicide attempts by taking a comprehensive countywide approach.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In March 2017, over 30 community leaders led by Liz Mikitarian, Vice President of the Hannah’s Heroes Teen Suicide Prevention and Lori Duester from the Children’s Center and the Sources of Strength Teen Suicide Prevention Program, formed the Youth Mental Health Task Force to reduce the rate of teen suicides and suicide attempts by taking a comprehensive countywide approach.

Members represent a range of entities such as education, medical, mental health and faith-based. Research-based strategies from the Centers for Disease Control’s “Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package” are being used to focus on seven areas, including promoting connectedness and identifying/supporting people at risk.

“One of the task force’s goals is to remove the stigma of mental health so our youth will feel comfortable using the resources that are available to those who are depressed, feeling alone or practicing self-harm,” said spokesperson Renee’ Ruffin-Price.

As a public health issue, suicide is preventable if people get the help they need.

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“Our “Start the Conversation!” media campaign, which will include posters and other visuals, will begin breaking through the barriers that prohibit people from talking about suicide,” said Ruffin-Price.

Worried about a teen in crisis? Stop. Ask. Listen. Act. Get Support. Crisis Lines available 24/7/365: Dial 2-1-1. Call the Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). Text “start” to 741741. Caring and compassionate people are waiting to help.

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