Our Team has always been about taking care of our emergency services personnel AND their families. We believe that in order to provide a program for our firefighters and other emergency services personnel, we must provide services that take care of your families. In other words, we believe that to properly provide care, “we must take care of those at home that take care of you”. So, in our effort to provide continuing support for our emergency services families, we are currently developing a revised version of our “Step Up and Step Out” Suicide Awareness and Prevention program to include our teenagers.
There are many reasons teenagers turn to taking their own lives with the following being just some of the causes:
Eating disorders, drug abuse, sexual abuse/rape, divorce of parents, being bullied, social rejection, anger, guilt, illness, relationship problems, domestic abuse, academic failure in school, feelings of being misunderstood, or the loss of a loved one.
We understand that this is a major project and we are moving forward carefully. We are developing an advisory committee of young people from our own emergency services families to provide guidance for this program. Chase Jones, a Senior at Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston and granddaughter of our Executive Director, Samantha Walser, a Junior in high school from Myrtle Beach and the daughter of a Myrtle Beach firefighter, and Dawson Reindollar, a Fort Dorchester Senior and the son of our Team Leader, have joined us to help with this project. These young people have experienced the loss of family members and/or friends to suicide in their lives and they bring a unique perspective to this effort. In addition, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health has a Teen Suicide Prevention Initiative coordinated statewide by Mr. Robert Cottingham and we look forward to drawing from his experience and expertise as we move forward.
On December 4, 2018, at 6:00 p.m., at Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston, we will present a Teen Suicide Awareness and Prevention Forum. The public and other interested people are invited to attend. Any parents with teenagers are also invited to have them join us. We are pleased to share that we will be participating with Mr. Cottingham of the SC Initiative, Sherie Corbett, one of our Team clinicians who works with teenagers, Chase, Samantha and Dawson, Meredith Cohen of the Fort Dorchester High School Guidance Department, David Reindollar, our Team Leader, and Gerald Mishoe, our Executive Director. This panel will offer information to those in attendance and will encourage audience participation with a question and answer time. We are inviting all first responder families with teenagers and any other families in the community to come join us for this important meeting.
Please call 843-609-8300 for more information or other questions. We hope to see you there.