On April 6, 2017, CCC testified before the New York City Council Youth Services Committee and Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services Committee regarding youth suicide. CCC also testified in favor of Res. 1374-2017, which would establish an annual Teen Mental Health Awareness Day in New York City.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-14 and the 2nd leading cause of death for those ages 15-34 years old. Furthermore, suicidal thoughts are becoming more pervasive among adolescents. Nationally, among students in grades 9 through 12 during 2015, 17.7 percent seriously considered attempting suicide, 14.6 percent made a plan about how they would attempt suicide and 8.6 percent attempted suicide one or more times.
CCC’s recommendations focused on suggestions to identify mental health needs of adolescents. These included:
Passing Res. 1374-2017 to Establish a Teen Mental Health Awareness Day in New York City, but making it earlier in the school year than the suggested June 8th.
Increasing invests and baselining the initiatives associated with ThriveNYC, including increasing treatment capacity.
Exploring ways to better enforce the Dignity for All Students Act so that schools are accurately reporting incidents of discrimination and bullying.
Investing in the creation of a program targeting self-esteem in adolescents as a preventive method to combat suicide.