Two fathers who lost their children to suicide are the number one reason New Jersey teachers have been required for years to receive regular training in suicide prevention.

Some adults, such as teachers and other school staff, may see your children more than you do on a normal day. This is why advocates of youth suicide prevention see schools as being on the front lines of this problem.


This is the third part in a four part series on youth suicide in the Garden State. Join Eric Scott on air and online at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 30 for a live conversation with New Jersey advocates and medical professionals on this growing problem.


“We know that one of the best ways to reduce suicides is to foster bonding,” said Wendy Sefcik, president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “This is why there was great concern during the pandemic, as many connections were severed.”

Sefcik, whose 16-year-old son committed suicide in 2010, said teachers can play a role in noticing changes in a student’s behavior and being able to identify when someone looks bad.

A 2006 state law requires every member of the teaching staff in a public school to complete a minimum of two hours of suicide prevention instruction every five years. Instruction, which should be provided by a licensed health care professional with training in the area, should include information on the relationship between suicide risk and incidents of harassment, bullying and bullying.

Why the risk of suicide is higher among LGBTQ youth

“Suicide is preventable. It’s one of the diseases we can prevent, ”said Susan Tellone, clinical director of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.

The Freehold-based organization was founded in 2005 by two friends whose children committed suicide. The group’s board of directors made it their mission to demand suicide prevention training among teachers after realizing that such a requirement did not exist. When New Jersey passed the law, it was the first state in the country to do so.

In New Jersey, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 24, but the state continues to have a lower suicide rate in this age group compared to the national average.

Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a law that allocates $ 1 million for mental health screening in New Jersey schools.

In an emailed statement to New Jersey 101.5, the Department of Education noted that federal coronavirus relief funds have been set aside to make grants available for schools’ efforts to meet health needs. mental health of students and educators.

  • Hope Line for Suicide Prevention in New Jersey: 1-855-654-6735
  • Crisis text line: Text New Jersey To 741741
  • National Hotline for Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK
  • 2nd Floor Youth Helpline: 1-888-222-2228
  • National LGBT Helpline: 1-888-843-4564

If your life or someone else’s is in imminent danger, call 911.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at [email protected]

The cities of NJ and their nicknames

LOOK: What important laws were passed in the year you were born?

The data in this list was acquired from reliable online sources and media. Read on to find out which major law was passed in the year you were born, and learn its name, vote count (if any), impact, and meaning.


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