Did You Know?

According to the 2016 Georgia Student Health Survey, children 8 years old and younger report using drugs. 11 years old is the reported age as to when most children try drugs for the first time.

View the full report

The CDC reports that in 2015, suicide was the third leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 14 and the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 15 and 34.

See more facts from the CDC

A recent article by HealthDay Reporter states that children as young as five years old may be at risk of suicide. 

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Tools You Can Use

Georgia Crisis Response System

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) provides a statewide mobile crisis van that will come to your school to:

  • De-escalate crisis situations.
  • Relieve the immediate distress of individuals experiencing a crisis situation.
  • Reduce the risk of individuals in a crisis situation doing harm to themselves or others.
  • Promote timely access to appropriate services for those who require ongoing mental health or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse services.

This service is available can be requested through the Georgia Crisis and Access Line.

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Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

As a part of the President’s Now Is the Time initiative, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has funded a series of grant programs to support the training of school personnel and other adults who interact with youth in both school and community settings. These programs aim to educate caregivers to detect and respond to mental illness in children and youth, including how to encourage adolescents and their families experiencing problems to seek appropriate services and supports.

Known as the Now is the Time Project AWARE, this training teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.  

Find a free course near you

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.

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Community Service Boards

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities can help school health personnel and families find a community service board (CSB) in the area.

Find a location near you

Legislation

Jason Flatt Act

Georgia was the fifteenth state to pass the Jason Flatt Act in 2015 which states that certain school personnel must have behavioral health training to address topics such as suicide prevention and awareness. This legislation requires mandatory youth suicide awareness and prevention training for certain school personnel. Major components of the legislation are:

  • The Department of Education shall adopt rules to require that all certificated public school personnel receive annual training in suicide awareness and prevention.
  • Approved materials may include programs that can be completed through self-review of suitable suicide prevention materials.
  • Each local school system shall adopt a policy on student suicide prevention.<

Read the law

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Medical Amnesty Law

This law protects victims and callers seeking medical assistance at a drug or alcohol overdose scene.

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Resources

Operation Prevention

The DEA and Discovery Education have teamed up to educate students about the harmful effects of prescription drug use and provide you with the resources to address the topic of drug abuse.

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Georgia Overdose Prevention

This program provides education, tools and resources for Georgia's Medical Amnesty Law.

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Adolescent Medicine Clinic

The Adolescent Medicine Clinic at Children's provides screening and treatment for mental health issues such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), uncomplicated anxiety and depression, and self-injurious behaviors.

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Read more about ADHD signs, symptoms and resources.

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Marcus Autism Center

Marcus Autism Center is a not-for-profit organization and subsidiary of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta that offers a variety of support services and resources to assist families living with autism spectrum disorder.

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Behavioral Health Provider Education

This initiative aims to educate healthcare providers on behavioral and mental health issues within the pediatric population.

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Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Research has now shown that most mental disorders follow a developmental course that typically starts early in life. The National Institute of Mental Health provides an overview of child and adolescent mental health .

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For Parents and Caregivers

MentalHealth.gov provides information to parents and caregivers about what to look for and how to get help.

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What to Do if You’re Worried About Suicide

This helpful guide from the Child Mind Institute can be shared with parents who have a child in distress.

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Educational Videos

Kids with health needs, especially mental health, communicate what they need from adults and how adults should respond. The videos are short, but powerful.

The Operation Prevention Virtual Field Trip explores the science of addiction to help middle and high school students understand how prescription drugs and heroin affect the brain and body.

The Mayo Clinic outlines the common signs of teen suicide and offers suggestions for what to say and how to keep teen safe.

According to MentalHealth.gov, three out of four people with mental health problems showed signs before they were 24 years old. As a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this website aims to provide resources to young people looking for help.