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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gross plans meeting on suicide prevention

Mason Supervisor Penny Gross is planning to host a meeting for the Korean-American community on juvenile suicide, citing growing concerns among parents.  

The meeting, to be conducted in collaboration with the Fairfax County Police Department and Region 2 of Fairfax County Public Schools, will focus on helping youths develop resilience and coping skills and helping parents recognize the signs of depression and stress.

While it will target the Korean population, it will be open to everyone, Gross said April 16. A date and place haven’t been set yet.

There has been an increase in youth suicides in the county in the past few years. “We don’t think any other parent should go through that tragedy,” she said.

The meeting isn’t being scheduled in response to a particular incident, but Gross said she’s been getting numerous calls from parents about the issue. There was a suicide involving a Korean youth about a month ago, but it wasn’t in Annandale, said Fairfax County Police spokesperson Lucy Caldwell. Helping young people cope is critical, Caldwell said, adding, suicide is a “permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

23 comments:

  1. In Fairfax County, between four and seven students take their own lives every year, according to the authors of a 60-page report compiled last September by a team of community mental health agencies, and Fairfax County Public School specialists.

    http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2014/mar/05/preventing-teen-suicides/

    According to CDC since 2003, at least 42 kids between 10 and 19 years old have committed suicide in Fairfax County. About a month ago, one of these kids was Korean(not in Annandale), and the previous 41 of these kids were not Korean.

    So this year (coincidentally an election year) Gross decides to look into youth suicide by hosting a meeting targeting the Korean-American community. The rest of the constituency and their kids be damned?

    Why doesn't this meeting TARGET THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE? Ignore the election, not the rest of our multicultural community. Gross directs yet another insult to the residents of Mason District.

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    1. Just came from a meeting at church. There ARE other teen suicide programs happening in the county--some are being framed as being about teen "stress" to maintain a broader audience. To suggest otherwise is incorrect.

      Outreach of this type should take into account cultural differences, and know that different audiences hear different messages. Your venom about an event designed for a particular population is inappropriate to how important you claim this issue is.

      I have a high schooler. This is too important a topic for our kids for you to cast aspersions about efforts to bring it out of the shadows and help kids address it.

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    2. And this venom has only one purpose - to foment hate against Penny Gross. Embarrassing.

      You should be very, very ashamed about your comment. Really.

      Penny was clearly listening to constituents and responded. What do you haters really want? Do you not realize that you are not the ONLY constituents in Mason District?

      You think Loeffler is enlightened? With the Annandale Blog as her official mouthpiece?

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    3. I agree with 6:30. When I read this article I thought the same thing. Why is this forum geared towards Koreans? I found it offensive that not all communities were not included in this conversation.

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    4. @ 1134 so now we cant have discussions with individual pieces of our community lest it offend people for not being all inclusive? Yeah. I have no idea why they chose to focus on Koreans, maybe they have some excellent reasons. But at no point did I get offended or insulted that they chose just to address a piece of our community, why is that so shocking?

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  2. In Fairfax County, between four and seven students take their own lives every year, according to the authors of a 60-page report compiled last September by a team of community mental health agencies, and Fairfax County Public School specialists.

    http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2014/mar/05/preventing-teen-suicides/

    According to CDC since 2003, at least 42 kids between 10 and 19 years old have committed suicide in Fairfax County. About a month ago, one of these kids was Korean, and the previous 41 of these kids were not.

    So this year (coincidentally an election year) Gross decides to look into youth suicide by hosting a meeting targeting the Korean-American community. ???
    The rest of the constituency and their kids be damned?

    Why doesn't this meeting TARGET THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE? Election year be damned, don't damn the rest of our multicultural community.

    Yet another insult to the residents of Mason District by the failed One Cent Gross.
    Just how much does she hate the population of Mason District that may not be useful to her to eliminate them as a target audience? Despicable!

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    Replies
    1. Umm, I do not see this is an "insult" to Mason District. You are just being a self-absorbed idiot who takes a well-meaning effort and turns into a political issue. Way to go - you win the internet today!

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  3. Living here in Mason is cause enough to commit suicide at any age.

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    1. you are a real awful human being

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    2. Another stupid comment allowed by the Annandale Blog editor, Ellie Ashford. Appalling.

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    3. I agree that I am insulted this forum is geared towards Koreans but your comment is just as horrendous.

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    4. you are embarrassing

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    5. How is this blog geared towards Koreans? even if it was, that's enough to insult you? Please explain why.

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    6. I think Anon meant the suicide forum, not the annandale blog forum.

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    7. You are probably right 3:19, but I'd still like to know why anon felt so insulted. Seems asinine to me.

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    8. This is 3:19 and I am insulted by the idea that this community is divided by races. What happened to the idea of a melting pot? I am insulted Adam that people of other races and nationalities are not included. We can come but they prefer we do not attend. I am sick of this mentality.

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    9. Anon 4/21, 11:02pm was not discriminating, I think this person was not ethnic or age specific.

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  4. The concerns about youth suicide were brought up by parents of students in the Korean-American community, so why shouldn't she focus outreach on that particular community, Anon 6:30? There have been a number of speakers in the FCPS community at large who have addressed suicide prevention, including at the middle schools. Did you take advantage of these opportunities?

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  5. For all of you who object to a session requested by and targeted at the Korean-American community, here's the event I heard of at church last night: http://www.fcps.edu/dss/summit/. It seems targeted at the broad audience you're so concerned about.

    So there are other sessions on the same topic, and no one should feel left out. But if you're not interested in attending this one, I'll presume you're only interested in attacking Supervisor Gross.

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  6. I'm not sure I understand the logic of the original comment. Instead of being thankful that Gross responded to particular community concern, the poster is insulted. Instead of being grateful that thorough this session a child's life might be saved, the poster takes this to mean the the rest of our community is damned. Does the 60-page report address the number of ATTEMPTED suicides? The number of times our youth are admitted for psychiatric care due to suicidal ideation? The goal of these sessions, I would hope, is to *prevent* suicide among our children. Kudos to parents who recognized the problem within their community - suicide carries a very real stigma and it is brave of parents, any parents, to ask for help.

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  7. I think in Asian families there is more of a stigma attached to mental illness and the parents are more reluctant to admit there is a problem and seek treatment for their troubled children. Thus a focus on Korean families may be especially needed. Additionally cultural pressure to succeed at any cost may be contributing to young people feeling overwhelmed. I think schools and community organizations have done a decent job of outreach to other populations and there are ample outreach programs for anyone interested in suicide prevention. Of course this new program us open to all but targeting the parents who have recently expressed the most concern.

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  8. If you think that mental health issues can be treated in exactly the same way across cultures because we are all one big melting pot, then I guarantee you have never spoken to a Korean teenager in your life.

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  9. I think that what Anon 6:30 means is that since 2003 Gross has done nothing to address the incidence of youth suicide...of any ethnicity. Suddenly, in this election year that has evolved with two challengers, she panders to one ethnic group, which also happens to be a known high volume voting group. Where has her interest been on this issue for the past 12+ years of historical fact finding. One Cent Gross is a disingenuous panderer motivated by election challengers. I wouldn't believe in her even if she gave up her ill-deserved 26.7% pay increase to keep the Adult Day Care Center in Mason District open instead of stuffing her bank account. She is a farce and has been causing a great deal of harm to this entire community.

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