LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The pandemic has put incredible amounts of stress on people of all ages. That’s why having open conversations about mental health during this year’s Suicide Prevention Month is more important than ever.
The Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention says suicide is the leading cause of death for teens aged 12 to 19 in Nevada.
Mental health professional, Dinisha Mingo, has seen this issue firsthand. Just this week, a local student took their own life.
“A principal texts me at 2:11 am saying ‘will you resend that suicide information? I just had a student complete suicide,” Mingo said.
To continue to meet the needs of local teenagers, Mingo and the clinicians at “Mingo Health Solutions” will provide on-site mental health support at “Ty’s Place: A Safe Space for Teens” in North Las Vegas.
Mingo says the pandemic has added a heavy weight to an age group that’s already at risk.
“They’re recognizing it. They’re saying I’m sleeping excessively, I don’t have any motivation, I don’t want to talk to anybody,” Mingo said. “This pandemic is hitting our teenagers consequently more, because it’s hitting everyone more.”
Parents should be looking out for key signs, such as slouching body language, negative self-talk, drastic swings in life outlook, isolation and depression.
Mingo says parents should have genuine communication with their kids and ask open ended questions such “how are you feeling?” instead of “how was school?”
“That lets the person know that you genuinely care, that it’s safe to talk, that you’re not judging them,” Mingo said.
Mingo says families should seek professional help when needed.
On Saturday, “Mingo Health Solutions” will hold a suicide prevention event across the valley. This is open to everyone in the community.
Four host sites, including “Ty’s Place,” will offer mental health services and resources. A drive-in event will take place after.
Registration information is available HERE.