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New data from the CDC shows that suicide rates are up more than 50% among young people between the ages of 10 and 24. A recent study found that African American adolescents were especially likely to make an attempt.

The medical journal Pediatrics found the rate of suicide attempts among African American kids went up almost 75% between 1991 and 2017. Suicide attempts are the biggest risk factor for suicide. Nobody knows exactly why more African American children are trying to hurt themselves. One reason is that African American kids are less likely to be getting mental health care.

We are developing a virtual mental health program for young people and their families of the 78741 zip code and surrounding area in the historically black East Riverside neighborhood of East Austin. Since the onset of COVID has limited in-person education and forced creation of virtual school programs, we are now pivoting away from delivering our former series of large public events and also moving our services into an on-line format delivered through the Zoom program.

A group of six therapists will present a rotating series of weekly programs, each in an area of their own particular expertise:
Lea Walker Clark, MA/ M.Div.: Managing Anger
George Glazer, LCSW: Facing Fear
Scott Harpst, LMSW-ACP, LMFT: Conflicts at Home
Steve Larson, LMFT/S, LPC/S, DMn: Facing Addictions
Simon Niblock, MA, LMFT: Dealing with Boredom
Tom Zimmermann, MA. LPC: Finding Forgiveness

Each program will be informative and educational, but not diagnostic or therapeutic in nature. The programs will be 45 minutes to one hour in length. Each of the six presenters will work from their own home or office, as well as the Zoom facilitator, using their own personal computers to originate that week’s Zoom program for our audience which will participate in the virtual event on-line.


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