Dear Family of the Archdiocese,
Lately, there has been a disturbing rise in the number of teen suicides. To help address this national epidemic, the Archdiocese of New York is sponsoring an upcoming webinar, presented twice, on youth suicide prevention for parents, guardians, and families. I would like to invite you to consider attending one of these webinars, or to share the information with someone who may benefit from it.
These webinars are part of an overall archdiocesan effort to improve our ability to protect our children. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults, and because it is often impossible to predict when a crisis will occur, awareness and preparedness are necessary. From 2019 data, we know that nearly 1 in 5 students report having seriously considered attempting suicide, and nearly 1 in 10 students have attempted suicide. Although suicide can be a challenging topic to discuss, it has been proven that talking about suicide does NOT increase suicidal behavior, and that not talking about it can be harmful. Discussing this sensitive topic, when initiated by trusted friends and adults, sends the message that you care and want to help.
Designed for parents, guardians, and families, and sponsored by our Family Life Office the webinar will be held on Thursday, October 28th and repeated on Wednesday, November 3rd. The webinars are free, and will last about an hour, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., followed by questions and answers. (If you can’t make either date, the webinar will be recorded and available online. Stay tuned for further info.)
These webinars will give you tools to help alert you to warning signs, and guide you to action. And even though your own child may not be at risk for suicide, you should be able to guide a youth on how to help a friend who’s struggling, because as we know, friends are often the first to know.
I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity.
With prayerful best wishes, I am,
Faithfully in Christ,
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York