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Over the past two days, news stories of the “Momo Challenge” have been rapidly spreading through the media. This has led to much misinformation, unclear understanding and concerned parents, professionals and teachers as well as frightened children. 

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth 10-24 and the numbers are rising. You may have recently heard of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”

Since 2012, I’ve been doing trainings trying to help adults understand the world of youth, technology, social media, and mental health. When I first started doing my trainings, I was targeting the parents of high school aged kiddos. Now I’m trying to get elementary parents to my trainings. As youth get technology younger and younger, they can see and misunderstand healthy and unhealthy mental health.

Working in a middle school, I often speak to youth who report being “bullied.” School counselors spend time looking at the scenarios and helping youth understand the difference between being rude, mean, and bullying.

With a mental health counseling background, my goal is to provide the resources needed to raise emotionally healthy youth in the digital age. Something I hear often when training adults is, “I’m so glad I grew up before the internet.” Even though we didn’t have the internet, we were young and full of mistakes.

We can all do our part to help prevent suicide. I’ve tried to compile the best resources you need to learn about suicide prevention.

I was recently interviewed by Elizabeth Hardison for the article, “Pennsylvania set up a tip line for school threats. Instead, students overwhelmingly called with mental health concerns.” When I was asked if I was surprised by the high level of mental health concerns being reported by students, I said I was not.