Hope Means Nevada, the community-based nonprofit focused on eliminating youth suicide in the state, and SilverSummit Healthplan announced today the launch of a youth suicide prevention campaign. The campaign, which was made possible through a $1.5 million donation from SilverSummit Healthplan, represents a large-scale effort designed to connect Nevada youth and their families to free resources to improve mental health and reduce suicide in the state.
State officials announced in February 2022, suicide was the second-leading cause of death for 8-24 year-olds, according to the most current 2020 CDC data. Richard Egan, Suicide Prevention Training and Outreach Facilitator of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public & Behavioral Health/Office of Suicide Prevention, noted that for ages 17 and under, Nevada went from 23rd/24th in the nation to 18th, showing a trend in the wrong direction. That rate is based on suicides per 100,000. In Nevada, the age shifted to a younger demographic; the youngest suicide went from age 12 in 2019 to age 8 in 2020.
Across the nation, suicide rates have posed significant challenges, and 2020 CDC data shows that in the United States, a suicide happens every 11.41 minutes.
The campaign officially kicked off on August 11 at Clark High School, where Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and executives with the Southern Nevada Health District, Hope Means Nevada, and SilverSummit Healthplan provided remarks regarding the importance of resources to help teens and young adults throughout Nevada.
“Just one family losing a child to suicide is unthinkable. We need to do everything we can to help families and children know: they are not alone,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “I’m proud that this campaign is going to bring so many available resources together – and in the spotlight – so children, young adults and parents can take immediate steps to combat mental health issues.”
Hope Means Nevada Executive Director Ciera Bellavance added, “Our primary goal is to remind those struggling with their mental health that options exist and should be used. We want individuals to remember that anxiety can be managed and depression can be treated, and suicide is not the answer. Together, we can offer hope to all Nevadans.”
The sponsored marketing and promotional assets, which includes advertising on bus shelters, radio advertising and other marketing efforts, are designed to point to the www.hopemeansnevada.org website (via MentalHealthResourcesNV.org), where visitors can find help for either themselves or a loved one. Those individuals who feel they are in immediate crisis will find locations for walk-in clinics in Washoe and Clark counties.
The website also reiterates reminders of free mental health hotlines, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988), the Crisis Text line (text “home” to 741741) and the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) hotline (1-800-950-8260). Web visitors will also find a free assessment to help identify whether they or a loved one might be at risk of suicide. Parents and friends can find tips for how to recognize a person in crisis and what to do to help, and youth will find digestible tips for calming breathing exercises, management of stress and more located on Hope Means Nevada’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels. The website also lists healthcare partners with a variety of treatments, group therapies and solutions visitors can consider investing in.
“Normalizing the conversation around mental fitness is, in fact, suicide prevention,” said Nicole King, vice president of community solutions at SilverSummit Healthplan. “We are committed to reducing teen suicides in Nevada and backing the efforts that ensure these messages of hope find the youth that need to hear them.”
To find mental health resources or to learn more about Hope Means Nevada visit www.hopemeansnevada.org.
About Hope Means Nevada
Hope Means Nevada is a community-based initiative of non-profit Nevada Medical Center focused on reversing the youth suicide trend in Nevada by inspiring a culture of empathy and advocacy around mental health. From the lasting impacts of COVID-19 to negative social media use, school shootings and other chaotic world events, many teens are experiencing heightened levels of stress, anxiety and depression. To raise overall awareness around Nevada’s high rates of mental health challenges and teen suicide, the organization provides teens with desperately needed resources and a community of hope. For more information about Hope Means Nevada, go to www.hopemeansnevada.org and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The new National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is now three-digit dialing code 988. Those experiencing a mental health emergency can also text “Home” to 741741 to reach the National Crisis Text Line.
About SilverSummit Healthplan
SilverSummit Healthplan is a managed care plan that delivers quality health insurance to the people of Nevada. Established in 2017, SilverSummit is committed to improving the health of its members through focused, compassionate and coordinated care. SilverSummit’s active community evolvement reaches beyond physical and mental health. The plan is dedicated to improving the quality of life, one person at a time. SilverSummit Healthplan is a diversified healthcare organization that offers healthcare services through Nevada Medicaid, Medicare, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. For more information on SilverSummit Healthplan, visit www.silversummithealthplan.com.
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