Harford launches youth suicide prevention campaign – Conduit Street

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death nationwide among young people between the ages of 10 and 14. Harford County partners educate and train community members to respond.

To raise awareness, the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy has developed public service announcements, billboards, and HarfordTalks.com for parents and others to learn the signs of suicidal ideation. . Public service announcements and billboards use images of young people to show that anyone’s child could be in danger.

“It’s heartbreaking to think that a child could feel so hopeless that they would consider suicide,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “We must do all we can to prevent suicide and eliminate the stigma around mental health that often prevents someone from seeking help. By talking openly and sharing resources, we can save lives.

Additionally, the county offers free suicide prevention training to anyone 14 and older. The two-hour interactive training, known as Question, Persuader, Refer (QPR), teaches participants how to identify someone at risk for suicide and connect them to care. And specialized training is also available for youth, veterans, first responders, farmers and faith communities.

Although the warning signs in children can be subtle, understanding potential red flags can play a crucial role in intervention. For example, signs that a child under 14 is considering suicide include behavioral changes, school changes, self-isolation, giving away valuable possessions, adopting risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use and feelings of hopelessness.

Harford’s campaign stresses the importance of recognizing these signs, feeling comfortable talking openly and honestly with children, and knowing where to turn for help.

According to a county press release:

Although the warning signs in children can be subtle, learning about potential red flags plays a crucial role in intervention. Signs that a child under 14 is considering suicide include behavioral changes, school changes, self-isolation, giving away valuable possessions, engaging in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use and feelings of hopelessness.

Harford’s campaign stresses the importance of recognizing these signs, feeling comfortable talking openly and honestly with children, and knowing where to turn for help.

Other efforts to reduce suicide in Harford County include the 24-hour hotline, 1-800-NEXT-STEP, and promoting the safe storage of firearms and the safe disposal of firearms. over-the-counter medications; awareness campaigns to educate healthcare providers about suicide risk, response, and appropriate referral; funding to encourage more support groups for people bereaved by suicide, as well as support groups and training for youth to teach healthy coping skills.

A Suicide Prevention Task Force meets monthly in Harford County to identify opportunities to provide resources and improve support services to prevent suicide. Members of the task force include representatives from the Harford County Department of Community Services, Harford County Public Schools, Klein Harford Family Crisis Center, Harford County Office of Mental Health, Health, Veterans Administration, Healthy Harford, Local American Foundation for Suicide. Prevention, Harford Community College, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Bel Air Police Department, Ashley Treatment Services and other partners.

Anyone interested in helping reduce suicide in Harford County can call Tara Lathrop, Administrator of the Office of Drug Control Policy, at 410-638-3333.

Visit the Harford County website for more information.