BRUNSWICK, MECKLENBURG, & HALIFAX, VIRGINIA – This Fall, Southside Behavioral Health (SBH) and local county schools worked to increase mental health awareness in local youth through the distribution of bracelets, posters, and other information on available mental health and suicide prevention resources. By increasing youth resiliency and targeting their mental health, it is hoped that these efforts will improve student completion and success rates for our local communities.
“Conversations about suicide prevention and mental health are important for reducing stigma and encouraging those who may be struggling to seek support,” said SBH Executive Director Elizabeth Engelhorn. “We are incredibly proud to partner with our local schools and to help teachers, faculty, and students get involved.”
To support these efforts school-themed prevention bracelets were delivered to Mecklenburg, Brunswick, and Halifax middle and high school students. School-themed posters and educational service tri-folds were also distributed to increase awareness for available local resources and promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) as well as the CRISIS Text Line (Text HOME to 741741). This campaign will help to educate our local youth about where to go for help in case of a mental health crisis.
“Teachers and faculty know that healthy, happy students are more likely to have better educational outcomes,” said Engelhorn. “This gives them the opportunity to help spread awareness and ensure that their students stay healthy and mentally prepared to succeed.”
Additionally, SBH is inviting community members to participate in a two-day Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools Virtual Conference for February 24 and 25, 2022. The virtual conference is offered at no cost. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 434-572-6916 Ext 1550 for more information on how to register.
Youth Mental Health in Southside Virginia:
According to the 2020 Community Needs Assessment conducted by Virginia Tech Center for Public Health and Research “approximately 32.5% of high school youth in the Central region and Virginia as a whole have felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that resulted in a stop in participation in usual activities.” Also, youth survey responses indicate that “during the past 12 months, approximately 7% of high school youth in both the Central region and Virginia as a whole reported attempting suicide” and “approximately 16% of high school youth in both the Central region and Virginia as a whole reported seriously considered attempting suicide” (2020 Community Needs Assessment).
About Southside Behavioral Health:
Established in 1972, Southside Behavioral Health provides behavioral health, developmental disability, substance use, and prevention services to the residents of Southside Virginia in Halifax, Mecklenburg, and Brunswick Counties. Southside Behavioral Health is committed to providing individualized culturally competent care in our communities, by supporting wellness and quality of life in a recovery-oriented environment and professional manner. Learn more at: southsidebh.org.