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Youth-serving professionals will benefit from a series of trauma-informed trainings led by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Dr. Ginsburg comes to Evansville January 23 and 24 at the invitation of Youth First, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening youth and families. 

“When children struggle to manage their emotions and behaviors, the root cause is often high levels of stress or trauma, what experts call Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs,” said Davi Stein-Kiley, Youth First’s Vice President of Social Work and Programs. “Dr. Ginsburg’s work focuses on fostering resilience and other strengths to help children overcome their problems.” 

Dr. Ginsburg will lead multiple sessions over a two-day period for medical and mental health professionals, educators, and youth workers. He will cover ACEs, strategies to engage hard-to-reach youth and resiliency, among other topics. 

The trainings were made possible through a community partnership between Youth First, the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, St. Vincent, Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., and Deaconess Cross Point. 

The media is invited to attend a session for educators and school administrators Tuesday, Jan. 23, 8:00 – 10:00 am, at the Academy for Innovative Studies auditorium on Diamond Avenue. Dr. Ginsburg will address questions after the session.

About Youth First, Inc.:
Youth First’s mission is to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success. Youth First partners with 59 schools across 7 counties to provide 39 Master’s level social workers who assess needs, develop and implement prevention plans, and connect students and their families to community resources. Youth First also offers afterschool programs involving parents and caregivers to strengthen families. For more information about Youth First, please visit www.youthfirstinc.org or call 812-421-8336. 

During this month a number of community forums will be held in Evansville to help residents discuss suicide prevention and how to best respond to needs. Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announced these forums will be sponsored by Old National Bank and the Southwestern Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition.

During the 2016 year there were 40 suicides reported in Vanderburgh County. To date in Vanderburgh County in 2017 there have been 11 suicidal deaths.

These untimely deaths leave behind many caring friends and family who long to make sense of the tragedy.  What happened?  What did we miss?  Were there some important signs?  What do we do next?

Youth First is one of many organizations dedicated to preventing suicide in our community.  During 2016-2017, we presented suicide prevention training to more than 800 students in Vanderburgh County in schools where Youth First is represented.  These presentations help students recognize signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking and to get help.  The presentations also promote good coping strategies.

There are a number of protective factors families can address to better understand saving lives:

If you believe your loved one is suffering from depression and possible suicidal ideation- don’t wait.  Seek assistance from a physician and a therapist or psychologist.

Spend time together- isolation and disconnection are key risk factors for suicidal death.  Connections make a huge impact.  If you know someone who is lonely make an effort to reach out.

Prior experience with suicide and prior attempts make a person more vulnerable.  Remove means for self-harm from the home for safety.

Help your loved one connect with meaningful activities and meaningful people.  Doing things to assist others is another protective factor, and we are ripe for community involvement in Evansville!

Use the best combination of healthy habits.  This includes proper nutrition, exercise and getting rest.  These are the foundations for wellness and support us when the stress load is higher.

Pay attention to the stress load of family members and look for ways to de-stress together.  Watching or reading comedy can help in the same way that avoiding dark and haunting material can.

Everyone is unique and there are no “pat” answers; be sure to seek assistance for better understanding for yourself and your loved ones.

If you are interested in learning more, take part in one of the following community forums:

April 10, 2017 – Welborn Conference Room, 412 Mulberry St.
April 11, 2017 – Oaklyn Library
April 17, 2017 – Central Library
April 18, 2017 – Deaconess Gateway Hospital Conference Rooms ABC

All forums will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. and a light snack will be provided.

If you cannot attend one of the forums, but you would like to host one for your group or club, please contact Janie Chappell at Deaconess Cross Pointe and the Southwestern Suicide Prevention Coalition at 812-476-7200 or contact us at Youth First at 812-421-8336.