Ocala — BRAZEN, the Florida Department of Health in Marion County’s risk-avoidance program, is offering parents and guardians an opportunity to join a frank and potentially life-saving discussion about teen suicide.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is now the third-leading cause of death among people 15 to 19 nationally. In Florida in 2019, according to the Department of Children and Families, suicide was the third-leading cause of death for those in the 15–24 age group. That year, 128 Floridians between the ages of 10 and 19 died by their own hand.
A Florida Department of Health report from 2019 indicated that 11% of male high school students and 20% of female students seriously considered killing themselves, and many in each group actually made a plan to follow through.
Meanwhile, in general among all age groups, Marion County tends to have a higher annual suicide rate than the rest of Florida, according to Florida Department of Health data.
Because of these troubling statistics and repeated reports about many of our youth sinking into despair, BRAZEN wants to help educate parents and guardians on how to be alert to signs a troubled teenager might be pondering suicide and what to do about it.
BRAZEN is hosting a free dinner with a discussion about teen suicide by Joshua Wayne, a veteran, nationally certified youth counselor.
For more than 25 years, Wayne has worked with youth in a variety of professional settings. They include counseling at-risk youth in drug and alcohol treatment programs, foster care systems, community mental health facilities, and in his own private practice. He also once worked as the director of Special Education for the District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington.
BRAZEN’s event will be held Sept. 22, from 5:30–7:30 p.m., at One Health Center, 1714 SW 17th St., Ocala.
For more information or to register, please call 352-644-2687.
DOH-Marion encourages parents, guardians and caregivers to join us to learn more about the factors that may drive a young person to contemplate or actually commit suicide.
Remember, it is a myth that talking with someone about suicide will lead them to actually do it. Not talking to them may led to a worse outcome. And if you suspect that someone — youth or adult — may need help, suggest they call or text 988, the new National Suicide and Crisis Hotline.