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Mental Health Center to lead May 18 panel on suicide prevention, ‘13 Reasons Why’ series

The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" has raised concerns in the suicide prevention community about the mental health and safety of children in schools. The show depicts scenes of teens being bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted, and depicts a graphic suicide death.

The Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition will host an event for community members to ask questions and learn about suicide prevention resources at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at the Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St. in Overland Park.

“Suicide is preventable when we ask, listen and talk about what is going on with each other,” said Tim DeWeese, director of the Johnson County Mental Health Center. “Anxiety and depression are treatable. Primary care doctors and the local community mental health center are good places to start asking for help, and we hope this event will be a valuable resource to concerned community members.”

Attendees will hear a panel discuss ways to approach difficult conversations, steps to take if you believe someone is at risk for suicide, developing healthy coping mechanisms, identifying trusted helpers and connecting individuals with resources to promote suicide prevention.

The panel will include professionals from the Johnson County Mental Health Center, Speak Up Foundation, Overland Park Police Department, Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center, MOCSA, Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital.

For additional resources on suicide prevention, including videos, fact sheets and links to websites, visit jocogov.org/suicideprevention.

The Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition aims to save and support life through suicide awareness, education and outreach. Help for those thinking about suicide is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is staffed by caring, highly trained individuals.