The New Jersey Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Council recently sent a letter to education stakeholders urging them to take a few simple steps to prevent youth suicide and to assist the Department of Children and Families in assisting at-risk youth.

The council asks that all New Jersey school districts post the contact information for PerformCare, a national, full-service behavioral health managed care organization, on the homepages of their school websites as the primary resource for parents who are concerned about their children’s mental health. The organization’s website can be found at www.performcarenj.org and its phone number is 877-652-7624.

The council notes that many New Jersey families do not know what DCF’s Children’s System of Care can offer children and adolescents – regardless of insurance status – coordinated access to mental health supports, substance use treatment and services for intellectual and developmental disabilities. “Too often we hear about families dealing with struggling youth who do not know where to turn and get lost in the myriad of resources,” according to the council’s letter.

The council goes on to state in its letter, “The pandemic has put a spotlight on how many of our young people are struggling with mental health concerns. We are asking you to encourage your district schools to make this information available on their websites and through their social media accounts. Directing parents to PerformCare will connect them to a live person who can direct them to the level of care needed.”

Questions can be sent via email to DCF-suicide.prevention@dcf.nj.gov

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