ECU Health collaborates with NCDHHS to host conference on youth mental health

ECU Health collaborates with NCDHHS to host conference on youth mental health

The Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program (ECIPP) at ECU Health recently hosted a youth mental health conference called “Light the Flame: Igniting Hope for North Carolina’s Youth” with funding from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The event brought together over 250 professionals from various fields such as teachers, coaches, school counselors, and mental health professionals.
Topics covered at the conference included supporting mental health and well-being, clinical assessment and intervention, safe firearm storage to prevent suicide, substance use, and the impact of social media on youth mental health. Dr. Shannon Longshore, the medical director of ECIPP and a pediatric trauma surgeon at ECU Health, emphasized the urgency of addressing the increasing rates of suicide attempts among youth. He stressed the importance of focusing on prevention rather than just treatment.
Although the conference attracted attendees from all over the state, many came from eastern North Carolina. Breanna Culler, prevention coordinator at ECIPP, highlighted the value of bringing professionals together to network and share experiences. Hosting the event in Greenville provided a unique opportunity to bring resources back to the local community. Several vendors were present at the conference, offering resources and information on various organizations such as Youth Mental Health First Aid, Rural Opportunities Institute, and the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

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