Tallahassee, FL (STL.News) Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis, as chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, led Cabinet members in a discussion of the alarming increase in youth suicide and called for members to work with their agencies to develop new ideas to amplify and analyze the state’s response to the epidemic.
In Florida, death by suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death among all ages but is the fourth-leading cause of death among ages 5-14 and the third-leading cause of death among ages 15-24.
“Today’s meeting of the Florida Children & Youth Cabinet was a positive first step in our efforts to respond to the epidemic of youth suicide,” said First Lady DeSantis. “The growing trend of this tragic cause of death is alarming and we are going to have to work quickly and creatively to change it. Together, we can identify meaningful solutions and quality care for families to address the suffering and stigma surrounding this issue. It is through a proactive approach that these Floridians will find the help and hope they need to heal.”
The Cabinet heard from two mothers, one who lost her daughter to suicide and one whose son survived a suicide attempt. They also heard from Dr. Thomas Joiner, who is the Robert O. Lawton Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He oversees the university’s Laboratory for the Study and Prevention of Suicide-Related Conditions and Behaviors.