NEW JERSEY: New South Jersey Suicide Prevention Program Wants to Get People Talking
April 21, 2017
South Jersey social service and law enforcement representatives have collaborated on the development of a youth suicide prevention program. Responding to an increase in suicide among middle school students, Jewish Family and Children’s Service Executive Director Marla Meyers and Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan created This Life Counts to promote awareness about children’s mental health. The program includes presentations, discussions, and games, facilitated by mental health experts and law enforcement, that provide guidance on how to discuss depression and anxiety within families. “The main message being that we want families to talk to each other,” said Meyers. “We want parents to ask more questions, to say to kids, ‘Tell me more.’” Participants are encouraged to reach out to law enforcement if they are struggling. “Police are one of the first resources they should call if they know someone who is in crisis, or if they’re in crisis themselves,” according to Monaghan. “We have the training . . . to deal with mental health calls and to assist people in getting the help that they need.”
Spark Extra! Read more about youth suicide prevention.