CHICAGO – Federal, state and local health care professionals, along with community organizers, educators and others will gather in Springfield on Friday, April 25 to attend the Illinois Youth Suicide Prevention Project’s (IYSPP) 2014 Statewide Suicide Prevention Conference. Participants will learn about the latest in research on youth suicide prevention to gain a better understanding of prevention, intervention and aftercare strategies. The conference will be held from 8 am to 4:15 pm at the University of Illinois Springfield.
Suicide is a public health problem that affects everyone. It is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24. Each year 4,600 youth from this age group take their own lives. Yet, more young people actually survive suicide attempts than actually die. Approximately 157,000 youth ages 10 to 24 receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries at emergency departments across the U.S. each year.
“It is important to identify the warning signs and if the signs are there, connecting the individual to supportive services is critical,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Our conference will focus on new developments within the field of youth suicide prevention; however, it will also take into account populations across the lifespan when considering the importance of suicide prevention.”
The conference’s theme Preventing Suicide Among Youth and Young Adults: Everyone has a Role acknowledges that preventing suicide involves collaboration by the entire community. This one-day event is sponsored in conjunction with the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), the University of Illinois Springfield Counseling Center and the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance.
The conference will include presentations by Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, Dr. John Draper, Director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Dr. Peter Gutierrez, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The speakers’ presentations will stream live from 8:30 - 10:15 am and 1:45 - 2:45 pm on the IPHA’s website at: http://www.ipha.com/Public/Events/EventDetails.aspx?eventId=314.
The 2014 Statewide Suicide Prevention Conference serves as a “kick off” to Mental Health Awareness Month (May) and Suicide Prevention Day (May 22).
Sponsoring the 2014 Statewide Suicide Prevention Conference is just one of the ways IDPH is working to expand and cultivate partnerships to advance Illinois’ public health agenda. It is also one of the goals in the IDPH Five Year Strategy 2014-2018. For a copy of thestrategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf.