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Communications & Public Information
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Page updated Dec 4, 2007 11:50 AM
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For Immediate Release - November 21, 2007 - PIO# 287-07
For More Information, Contact Andrea Blackford, Communications Officer, at 703.519.3489

City of Alexandria Presents “Too Young to Die: A Presentation on Teen Suicide in Alexandria”

The City of Alexandria invites the public to “Too Young to Die,” a community presentation to discuss teen suicide, prevention, grief and healing. This event will be held on Monday, December 10, at 6:45 p.m. at Minnie Howard School, 3801 West Braddock Road. There is no charge to attend this event. Childcare and multi-language interpretation services are available by calling Andrea Drost at 703.859.3780.

The panel features four speakers. Kathy Harkey of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, will share the story of her son, Joshua Stevens Collins, who committed suicide. Author, trainer and counselor Duane Bowers will discuss trauma, grief and healing; Mary Azoy of CrisisLink will discuss prevention, signs of suicidal ideation, and seeking help; and Dr. Nicole Rohrer of the Alexandria Community Services Board will discuss suicide among youth in Alexandria. A question and answer session will follow. 

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24 in the United States. Surveys of Alexandria public school students in grades 6 to 12 indicated that self-reports of attempted suicide were twice the national average.* In the United States, for every completed suicide by youth, 100-200 attempts are made. One million people of all ages attempt suicide each year. Every 16.6 minutes, a life is lost to suicide—approximately 30,000 each year. This rate is 50% more than the number of homicide victims, twice the number of HIV/AIDS deaths, and higher than the rates for death related to Alzheimer’s, hypertension and arteriosclerosis. Many people who attempt suicide never seek mental health care; however, effective help is available, underscoring the importance of educating the community about the signs of depression and suicide.

The event is sponsored by the Alexandria Community Services Board’s System of Care Program, a grant-funded, state initiative to support children’s mental health needs through community partnerships among families, schools and public and private organizations. Event co-sponsors are the Friends of the Alexandria Mental Health Center, National Alliance for Mental Health, Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria, and Alexandria City Public Schools. For additional information, please call Jennifer Cohen Cordero at 703.838.4455, ext.161, or email jennifer.cohen-cordero@alexandriava.gov

*The Search Institute's Developmental Assets Survey,2006 and 2001.