Youth Suicide Prevention: Pandemic Causes increase in Mental Health Issues For Juveniles

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ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. WUTR-TV) — According to the CDC suicide is the second leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 34 years old. The stress from the pandemic and the social justice issues plaguing the nation have also affected the mental health of juveniles.

“Children see the stress that their families are going through. They experience it in one way or another even if we try very hard to hide those concerns from our kids, and the changes to schooling have had an immense impact on children.” – Kristin Sauerbier, Program Director, Mobile Crisis Assessment Team

From 2007 to 2018 the CDC reported that suicides increased by 57.4% for people 10 to 34 years old. Kristin says a key in prevention is noticing a difference in your child’s behavior.

“If children are appearing as more withdrawn, that would be an important thing to pay attention to and to reach out for assistance. Any changes to their eating or sleeping habits is something to pay attention to as well.” – Kristin Sauerbier, Program Director, Mobile Crisis Assessment Team

The Mobile Crisis Assessment Team, or MACT, offers crisis intervention resources for 6 counties in the mohawk valley. It’s free of charge to any one of any age. Kristin says to also reach out to counselors at school.

“The school social workers are still functioning and still able to be contacted. Teachers as well even though it’s in a virtual format. Reach out to any one in your school that you feel comfortable talking to. You can also call our crisis line as well.” – Kristin Sauerbier, Program Director, Mobile Crisis Assessment Team

If you or someone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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