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Posted Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Offers Warning Signs, Guidance and Comfort — Targeting Ages 10-24  

A new You Are Not Alone website has been launched by the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris aimed at providing guidance, comfort and hope to young people in Morris County who are struggling with suicidal thoughts.

The website also offers important skills and information to families and friends of persons dealing with severe depression and other mental health issues. Included are warning signs and practical ways to speak to young persons, which are covered in an easy-to-read format.

What to say: I have been feeling concerned about you lately; I wanted to check in with you.

The website features young people who have attempted suicide, and family and friends who have been impacted by those who have died by suicide, also who tell their stories in videos that can be found on the new website.  (https://stopteensuicide.mhaessexmorris.org/)

“Now more than ever, we need to be there for young people in this county, letting them know that we care and that their lives have value and how very important their well-being is to us all. Supporting their mental health is vital to our future as a society,” said MHA Executive Director Bob Davison.

He stressed that suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24

“Many young people in Morris County are struggling to get through these difficult times and may need support that is offered by this new website. We encourage our youth and their families and friends, especially here in Stigma-Free Morris County, to make sure they get the support they need,” said Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, who is the county governing board’s liaison on social services.

Suicide Prevention Website Focuses on Young Residents -- Impacted by COVID-19

During this stressful COVID-19 crisis, it is particularly important to take care of your mental health, say mental health experts. NJ Mental Health Cares, the state’s behavioral health information and referral service, has set up a helpline for people dealing with anxiety and worry.

Morris County residents can call 866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week to speak to trained specialists.

Also, you can Contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services or SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 that provides 24/7, 365-day-a- year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

In these difficult times, we want you to know that you don’t have to do this alone. Please reach out.

The Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris has compiled a list of tips and resources to assist with self-care.

  • Connect with family and friends by phone, e-mail, or social media.
  • Partake in activities that are soothing: a warm bath; deep breathing; cook comfort foods.
  • Distract yourself with activities that keep you busy: gardening; art work; music and comedy movies to make you laugh and lighten your mood.
  • Limit news and media intake.
  • Get outside and take a walk. Walking is one of the best exercises to help mitigate anxiety.
  • Keep a schedule and stay as close to your typical routine as possible.
  • Remember that THIS WILL COME TO AN END and that your lives will return again to normal.

For more resources recommended by the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, click here.

Suicide Prevention Website Focuses on Young Residents -- Impacted by COVID-19