By Isiah REYES
CV Alliance shared with parents ways to deal with teen trauma, self-injury and suicide by inviting Mental Health Counselor Alex Guthman to talk about how to be a lifesaver.
The roundtable talk was more of an open conversation than a formal presentation where parents discussed risky teen behaviors. Guthman said it is important to talk to kids before they reach high school and to look for signs to prevent crisis.
“The position [I have] at Rosemont Middle School was created to try to do earlier interventions to prevent suicides from happening rather than responding in a reactionary way after the fact,” Guthman said. “I think understanding the signs and symptoms that are going on is huge so we can step in and connect those dots and put them into context.
“Being exposed to suicide is a high risk factor for attempting to commit suicide later on.”
Guthman also talked about why kids injure themselves, which occurs most commonly in kids ages 12 to 14. He said cutting is coping and it could be a way a kid looks for attention or tries to get back at their parents.
“To help kids, we’ve got to educate parents,” said Suzy Jacobs, executive director of CV Alliance.
Overall, everyone at the meeting was involved and eager to learn more. The topic of suicide is especially dear to La Crescenta after 15-year-old Drew Ferraro took his own life at Crescenta Valley High School.
“The turnout was great,” Guthman said of the discussion. “The most helpful was when it was interactive and they were able to ask questions and have more ideas. That’s where I’m geared up to give the talk. I think parents not only want to hear the information but they also want to share.”
L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Matejka will give a talk on drugs on Dec. 2 and Julia Rabago of CV Alliance will be giving a talk on Dec. 9 on how to communicate better with kids and what words to use to build their self-esteem. These meetings will be at the Crescenta Valley High School library, 2900 .