Columbus, OH,
20:18 PM

Suicide In Schools Conference

OhioHealth and Nationwide Children's Hospital Team Up To Help School Districts

School is in for hundreds of educators and counselors from Ohio school districts.

But at the 2017 Suicide In School Conference, they aren’t talking about reading, writing, and arithmetic. They are tackling a much tougher subject, and it's the 2nd leading cause of death in young people.

“We do know that it is a tough topic to start to think about, to communicate, a lot of what we do is break down barriers,” said John Ackerman, Ph.D., Suicide Prevention Coordinator, CSPR at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

This conference is a partnership between OhioHealth and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and made possible by grants from the Columbus Foundation. While the subject matter is very serious, you don’t have to look too far to see if it’s a critical topic

“The collaboration is amazing; we expected 75 people to sign up, we maxed out in 2 days, 250-275 people here,” said Lauri Yersavich, MS, LSW, CTP, School Outreach Coordinator, OhioHealth Hospice.

“We get young people together and give them a safe environment to talk about loved ones and feelings," she added.

Nationwide Children’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator says their team works in the schools daily.

“Schools are doing prevention, talking to other schools, we did this, identified a bunch of kids we never would have known about, they are safe, and getting treatment," Ackerman said.

And thanks to collaboration like this, fewer gaps. Suicide prevention before, crisis teams during, and support after a school death. A real team effort.

“It’s important, people are recognizing that it’s important, “Yersavich said.

“What a great opportunity to work with multiple hospitals and appreciate being invited to the table, we’ll keep things going like that," Ackerman said.

For more information, please contact the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at SuicidePrevention@ or (614) 355-0850.If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

For questions about OhioHealth's School Outreach Programs, please contact OhioHealth Hospice, Bereavement Services at (614) 533-6060.