With suicide the second leading cause of death for young people in New Hampshire, Exeter Hospital launched an ambitious multi-year initiative in 2017 to combat it that gave rise to 11 funded projects.
One of these projects is the Seacoast Youth Suicide Prevention Network (SYSPN), which will host a summit on May 22 at the Community Campus in Portsmouth for any agency or association that works with youth.
According to Cory Towne-Kerr of The Chase Home, one of several founding members of the initiative, the purpose of the summit is to build a “functioning support network” for vulnerable youth.
“There are a lot of great services and program for youth, but they really don’t know what is available in the community,” she said. “We offer services in our network, too, and want to connect with any other organization in the community…This summit will help make those connections.”
Founded in 1877, The Chase Home works with youth and families in crisis from Portsmouth and throughout the state. They are joined by founding partners New Heights and Seacoast Outright.
“There has been a lot of groundwork in the past year to build this network,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director at The Chase Home. “We now need to promote it and raise awareness about teen suicide. There are so many young people struggling in our communities. Nonprofits need to work collaboratively to address this critical issue.”