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CACS Board Proclaims August as Teen Suicide Prevention Month
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
The staff and Board of Directors at CACS set aside the month of August to help bring awareness to the impact of teen suicide and the prevention efforts in place in our community.
According to South Dakota Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause for persons aged 15 to 34 years, and third leading death cause for children 5-14 years of age. Statewide data provided by SDSP indicates that 16.1% of South Dakota high school students seriously considered suicide, 11.8% of South Dakota high school students planned suicide, 8.4% of South Dakota high school students attempted suicide and 21.6% of South Dakota high school students were bullied on school property. Suicide rates are increasing in South Dakota, and those at highest risk are young males less than 25 years of age and American Indians.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported there’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. “Bullying and Cyberbullying create added stressors for vulnerable teens, whose brains are still developing and whose life experiences may not have helped them develop resiliency yet,” noted Julia Jones, CACS Board member. “Recognizing that teens and even younger children can suffer from clinical depression and anxiety is paramount in preventing suicide in this population.”
Capital Area Counseling has implemented a process called Suicide Safe Care, which aims to significantly reduce the number of suicides within our local healthcare systems. Suicide does not have to be something that “just happens.” Often there are multiple opportunities to intervene. Our goal is to eliminate the taboo on discussing mental health, creating the freedom for people to openly discuss mental illness and suicide and obtain effective treatment.
Dennis Pfrimmer, the CEO at Capital Area Counseling states, “Reducing and preventing suicide where possible is the number one priority of our agency. Our clinical staff is well-trained in assessing the risk of suicide and our administrative staff understand they too are part of the solution. All of our employees have been trained in Suicide Safe Care. They know, understand and are passionate about reducing suicide among our friends and neighbors in Pierre and the surrounding area.”
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