May 3, 2006
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
UMDNJ Sponsors Annual Conference on Youth Suicide Prevention
PISCATAWAY—The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will sponsor the Fourth Annual Suicide Prevention Conference for educators, nurses, psychologists, social workers and counselors today, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Elizabeth Alton Auditorium (A-Wing) W. Jimmie Leeds Road, Pomona and at 8:30 a.m. on Thurs., May 11, at the Somerset Marriott, 110 Davidson Avenue, Somerset.
"Causes, Management and The Prevention of Youth Suicide" conference, which is being hosted by the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth program at the UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare, highlights current research on causes and management of suicidal teens; school and community prevention programs; the benefits and risks of treating depressed children and adolescents with antidepressants; and the management of bullying behaviors and their relationship to depression.
Last year, Former Governor Richard J. Codey signed A3931, which made it mandatory for teachers to participate in two hours of suicide prevention training every five years and for schools systems to include suicide prevention in the student curriculum. To help the educational community comply with the law, health professionals at UMDNJ's Behavioral HealthCare are co-sponsoring workshops that will provide school administrators with options for incorporating suicide prevention programs into their curriculum.
UMDNJ is hosting this conference as part of a statewide series of initiatives aimed at educating teachers and school administrators about preventing suicide among youth.
"Suicide is the third leading cause of death among children between ages 10 and 19, according to the National Institute of Mental Health," said Donna Amundson, a social worker and program manager of the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth at the UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare. "We want to prevent suicide and the devastation that accompanies it."
The Traumatic Loss Coalitions offers county, regional and statewide training, information, technical assistance, and trauma response capability. Since its inception in Sept. 2000, TLC has trained over 10,000 individuals on various programs for youth. TLC is dedicated to providing suicide prevention programs and responding to crises affecting the behavioral health of youth. For more information about upcoming TLC programs or to receive their newsletter, call 732-235-2810.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-New Jersey Chapter provided funding for this conference.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.
For more information, call Nancy Baird, of the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth program at the UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare, at 732-235-9342 or 732-235-2810.