Gopal, Education Committee to Engage in Wide-Ranging Discussion on Teen Suicide

Senator Vin Gopal, Chairman of the Education Committee, will lead the committee in discussing the dramatic rise in teen suicide, both nationally and in New Jersey, where it has reached crisis levels.

The committee will hear from a range of stakeholders and experts in the field of mental and behavioral health issues facing young people, and will engage with a particular focus on ways to recognize warning signs, ways to offer connection and support, and best strategies regarding suicide prevention.

“The CDC recently released new data showing increased rates of depression, sadness and suicide among teens, particularly among teen-age girls. We must do all we can to confront this ongoing tragedy, and comprehensively address this public health crisis that is taking its toll on families across our state,” said Gopal.

The committee will meet on Thursday, March 2nd, at 11 a.m., in Committee Room 4, 1st Floor, in the State House Annex in Trenton. 

Among those expected to speak during the committee hearing are:

·    Susan Tellone, Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

·    Mary Abrams, New Jersey Association of Mental Health & Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA)

·     David Aderhold, Superintendent of West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District

·    Joseph Isola, Superintendent of Howell Township Public

·    A’Dorian Murray-Thomas, Founder & CEO of SHE Wins! Inc.

·    Jessica Smedley, Legislative Chair of the New Jersey School Counselor Association –

·    Rose Acerra, New Jersey Parent Teacher Association –

·    Iona Leslie, Red Bank Regional School District

·    Dr. Eric C. Alcera, Network Medical Director-Hackensack Meridian Behavioral Health


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