On Monday, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis, the chairwoman Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, warned about the rising number of youth suicides in the Sunshine State.
DeSantis talked to members of the Children and Youth Cabinet about the matter and called for state agencies to find new strategies and solutions to the problem.
“In Florida, death by suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death among all ages but is the fourth-leading cause of death among ages 5-14 and the third-leading cause of death among ages 15-24,” the governor’s office noted.
“Today’s meeting of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet was a positive first step in our efforts to respond to the epidemic of youth suicide,” said DeSantis. “The growing trend of this tragic cause of death is alarming and we are going to have to work quickly and creatively to change it. Together, we can identify meaningful solutions and quality care for families to address the suffering and stigma surrounding this issue. It is through a proactive approach that these Floridians will find the help and hope they need to heal.”
DeSantis and the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet heard from two mothers, one of whom lost her daughter to suicide and the other whose son attempted to kill himself. Dr. Thomas Joiner, a professor of psychology at Florida State University in charge of the Laboratory for the Study and Prevention of Suicide-Related Conditions and Behaviors also spoke to the Cabinet.