Sullivan smiling
Suicide Prevention & Awareness
By Judge Frank Sullivan
September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that the number of suicide attempts have increased during the pandemic to the point that suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S. We, as a community, must not fail to recognize the increase in mental illness experienced by youth during the pandemic, especially OUR youth in the child welfare system. Suicide is preventable so it’s imperative that we focus on front-end prevention. We must shift the public perception about mental illness and suicide and get people comfortable in asking questions, knowing how to persuade and create hope and knowing where to seek assistance. Starting conversations surrounding suicide and normalizing talking about it can change a life. After all, mental health is a journey and no one should travel it alone, particularly OUR youth!