Talking to our own youth about the Connecticut School Shooting
Five Town Communities That Care is dedicated to promoting healthy youth development and to the prevention of problem adolescent behaviors. Suicide is one of the behaviors we seek to prevent.
One of the risk factors for adolescent suicide is media influence, sometimes referred to as media contagion. Some forms of non-fictional media coverage of suicide are associated with a statistically significant increase of suicide among those exposed to the media coverage.
The tragic deaths of the students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the suicide of the gunman who killed them is blanketing the news. Many of these reports include detailed information and pictures. This type of coverage has been shown to increase the risk of attempted suicide by some adolescents and distress for younger students.
For parents of young children: We suggest you read the great advice posted by Dr. Robin Silverman at her website. (http://www.drrobynsilverman.com/parenting-tips/parents-how-to-talk-to-children-about-the-connecticut-school-shooting/)
If you know adolescents who have seen the reports, please take the time to discuss it with them. If you have concerns about how they are handling this, ESPECIALLY if they have been "down" or "low" lately, please call the Maine Crisis hotline at 1-888-568-1112. You can also find more information about suicide and adolescent suicide prevention at http://www.maine.gov/suicide/about/faq.htm.
Forward this message to parents that you know.
The mission of Five Town Communities That Care is to promote healthy youth development and to prevent problem adolescent behaviors such as substance abuse, suicide, violence, delinquency, school drop-out, and teen pregnancy. We also seek to foster increased collaboration and cooperation in communities in order to best serve the needs of their youth.
In order to achieve these goals we support implementation of tested, effective prevention programs and practices; provide training and technical assistance; and implement information campaigns designed to increase the knowledge and engagement of communities.