The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education’s overarching ambition is to reduce the stigma of mental illness, which has been a barrier for individuals, families, and communities receiving much-needed support.

The Institute aims to provide resources and hope to those that struggle with mental illness, and to those who support them. The Institute strives to educate people on mental health issues through various outreach programs.

Reducing Youth Suicide Workshop

The workshop provides data on recent trends in adolescent suicide and addresses warnings signs, as well as risk and protective factors. Clinicians will gain knowledge of available suicide risk screening and assessment tools. In addition to discussing suicide in general, the workshop will address the unique needs of specific populations who have increased risk based on unique social factors.

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Suicide Prevalence

According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-19. The suicide rate for youth between the ages of 15 and 24 was the highest recorded rate ever (Heron, 2019).

Thus, this year the institute partnered with the Institute for Adolescent Suicide Prevention to deliver a workshop that discussed trends in adolescent suicide and addressed warning signs, as well as risk and protective factors.  Participants gained knowledge about the unique needs of specific populations and learned of available suicide risk screening and assessment tools.

New Challenges

The Covid-19 crisis has created many new challenges for daily living. These challenges are causing great stress and anxiety, which can significantly contribute to serious health problems. The United Nations has already highlighted a need for an increase in mental health support due to the epidemic (UN, 2020). Thus, the institute  has been delivering a workshop to the community; Cultivating Emotional Wellness Amidst Covid-19. This workshop explored some of the particular challenges related to Covid-19; including isolation and decreased support systems, a sense of powerlessness/loss of control/feelings of uncertainty, fear about our health/death, and grief. This workshop provides participants with specific interventions on how to cope with the overwhelming stress and unpredictably that this crisis has created. Additionally, ways in which participants can better manage their daily lives are also explored. Participants also have the opportunity to create a personalized 3-step wellness plan to assist in cultivating emotional wellness.