Every day in the United States an average of 5,400 suicide attempts are made by young people grades 7 to 12, resulting in approximately 4600 lives lost each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, the rates having been going up for almost a decade. Problems brought on by the pandemic, creating a perfect storm of stressors for kids, suggest that families, schools, and mental health professionals might look more closely for clues to identify those who are vulnerable.
This presentation will focus upon the issues of suicide and thoughts of self-harm through a developmental and environmental lens. The manner in which individuals manage stressors and trauma is impacted by maturation, coping skill development, resources, and external experiences. However, in these particularly stressful and uncertain times, the ability to problem solve using abstract reasoning is fundamental but likely not completely developed in this age group.
Age related coping skills, thinking, and problem-solving capacity for adolescents will be discussed while re-capping the major stressors and vicariously traumatizing events of the last year that have impacted this group. There will be discussion of the “option” of self-harm or suicide as it is conceptualized by kids of this age leading to a review of the options to assist individuals in re-framing their experiences and develop new coping skills.
We are pleased, once again, to have Mary Kay O’Sullivan, LMFT, LADC, LPC presenting for NASW/CT. The Director of Education and Training for the Capital Region Mental Health Clinic, she has been a clinician, a trainer, and an instructor at colleges and universities for over 30 years.
Approved for 3 CECs
$50 Members of NASW; $75 Yet to be Members