September 9, 2019

Dear Parent/Guardian(s) and Families,

Today begins National Suicide Prevention week. According to the 2019 State Fact Sheets data from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average one person dies by suicide every 11 hours in New Jersey. Suicide continues to be the 14th leading cause of death in the state and is the second leading cause of death for New Jersey youth ages 15-24.

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The Nutley Public School District is dedicated to promoting suicide prevention awareness and education to students as well as supporting students and parents in learning the warning signs and how to appropriately respond when there is a concern that a person may be in danger of self-harm. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers resources for Warning Signs and What To Do.

Throughout this school year, our trained counseling staff will discuss age-appropriate mental health topics with our students, district-wide. A district goal for the 2019-2020 school year is an increased focus on mental health and wellness for both students and staff. Mental health and wellness is also one of the four areas of our five-year Strategic Plan.

We remain committed to increasing the conversation and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. We have already scheduled events at various levels on this topic. Our first Emotional Wellness Seminar, “Be Well,” is designed to help elementary school parents learn how to help their child maintain a healthy state of mind, model healthy habits and coping skills, talk about feelings and perceptions, and identify signs of anxiety in children. It will be held on Wednesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Washington School auditorium. All are welcome to attend.

School Counselors are available at each of the seven schools in our district to provide support services within school and to refer families to appropriate community resources and mental health services outside of school. Please reach out to your child’s school counselor or your school’s Student Assistance Coordinator (SAC) with any questions or concerns.

As always, the Crisis Text Line, the New Jersey Hopeline, the 2nd Floor Youth Helpline, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are available 24 hours/7 days a week if someone you know is considering suicide.

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Glazer;

Superintendent of Schools

Mrs. Meredith Gerckens

K-12 Coordinator of School Counseling