Behavioral Health | Community

ECU Health’s Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program (ECIPP), through funding by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), hosted a youth mental health conference for professionals across the state. The event, “Light the Flame: Igniting Hope for North Carolina’s Youth” drew over 250 attendees from a variety of professions including teachers, coaches, school counselors and mental health professionals.

Some of the topics covered included supporting the mental health and well-being of yourself and others, clinical assessment and intervention, safe firearm storage to prevent suicide by firearms, substance use, social media in connection to youth mental health.

“In our youth, suicide stands as the second leading cause of death, with a staggering 31% increase in suicide attempts in 2021,” said Dr. Shannon Longshore, medical director, ECIPP, pediatric trauma surgeon, ECU Health. “There’s an urgency in all of us who work with kids to find solutions and take care of them. We have to focus on prevention rather than recovery and treatment, and conferences like these can help us begin to move the needle.”

Attendees listen to a presenter during a youth mental health conference for professionals across the state, hosted by ECU Health and NCDHHS.

While the event drew attendees from across the state, most came from right here in eastern North Carolina.

“This is a great opportunity to provide further education and a chance for professionals from across the state to network and share experiences,” said Breanna Culler prevention coordinator, ECIPP. “Having this event in Greenville allows us the opportunity to bring resources home.”

Multiple vendors attended the event to connect attendees with resources, including Youth Mental Health First Aid, Rural Opportunities Institute, 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, NC School Health Training Center, Resources for Resilience and more.