Canton, GA (November 6, 2018) – On Monday, November 5, 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Fatality Review Unit hosted a Youth Suicide Prevention and Awareness Summit at Cherokee County Conference Center @ The Bluffs in Canton. The Summit was held in partnership with the Cherokee County School System to reduce childhood fatalities in their area.
The summit addressed the rise in youth suicides in Georgia, discussed how to recognize warning signs, and promoted prevention efforts. So far in 2018, 34 youth suicides have been reported in the state. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15 to 17.
"These deaths can be prevented. Intervention with a troubled child can save a life,” said Vernon M. Keenan, Director of the GBI.
Also presenting during the summit were:
- Trebor Randle, Special Agent in Charge, GBI Child Fatality Review Unit
- Shevon Jones, Prevention Specialist, GBI Child Fatality Review Unit
- Mandi Ballinger, State Representative, Child Fatality Review Panel, Chair of House Juvenile Justice Committee
- Brooke Ford, County Director, Cherokee County Division of Family and Children Services
- Dr. Brian Hightower, Cherokee County Schools Superintendent
- Sally Sims, Cherokee County Deputy Coroner
- Ken Ball, Chief Deputy, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
- Charlie & Hannah Lucas, R U Ok App
- Teresa Stan, LRJ Foundation
Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds and numerous educators, principals, and counselors attended the summit with Cherokee County citizens. For access to services, regardless of income or insurance, the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) is available 24/7 to help you or someone you care for in a mental health crisis at 1-800-715-4225.