Child Guidance Center urges community engagement to prevent suicide

Below is a message provided by the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut:

Did you know that in 2015, 27% of Connecticut high school students felt sad or hopeless almost everyday for two weeks? Or that 13% seriously considered attempting suicide? Or that 10% attempted suicide at least once? With suicide being the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24, it’s obvious we have an epidemic on our hands.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It’s crucial that our communities unite to increase awareness and prevent suicides. The most important step to prevention is knowing what signs to look for in children and teens who may be contemplating taking their own lives. Those warning signs include: communicating about suicide verbally, in writing, or through artwork; seeming extremely depressed or restless; talking about feeling hopeless; withdrawing from friends, school or family; or suddenly or increasingly engaging in dangerous risk-taking behavior.

Step two of suicide prevention is taking action. If you notice a friend or family member displaying any suicidal behaviors, do something about it. Ask directly, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Actively listen to their response without judgment, and try to remove anything they can use to harm themselves.

Step three is to call Connecticut’s 2-1-1 Crisis Hotline. By dialing 2-1-1 you can reach the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut’s (CGC) Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS) team. CGC’s crisis clinicians are available seven days a week (even during holidays and inclement weather) to help a child or teen in crisis. EMPS clinicians will provide support over the phone or go directly to a home, school, or other community location to stabilize a crisis. There is absolutely no cost to using CGC’s EMPS program. Immediate access to mental health and crisis intervention services can save a child’s life.

During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we ask that you actively participate in spreading information about suicidal behaviors, the prevalence of suicide in our youth, and steps we can take to save lives.

For more information about warning signs, visit bethe1to.com/warningsigns/.

If you would like to receive suicide prevention training or would like more information about CGC’s EMPS team, call (203) 324-6127 or email [email protected]

About Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut

Established in 1954, CGC is dedicated to improving the mental and behavioral health of children and teens through treatment, education, and community support. CGC serves children, from birth to 18, in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan. If you would like to get help for a child or learn more about CGC’s mental health services, please call CGC at (203) 324-6127 or visit www.childguidancect.org. CGC is on social media at www.facebook.com/childguidnacect.org andwww.twitter.com/cgcct.

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