Suicide prevention gathering at Smith College

Suicide takes the life of nearly 40,000 Americans every year

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of people gathered at the Smith College Conference Center in Northampton to talk about ways to prevent suicide and bullying in schools.

Wednesday’s conference was put on by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

Experts talked about how schools can identify and intervene with a student they suspect needs help. Warning signs can often be associated with the acronym F.A.C.T.S., which stands for Feelings, Actions, Changes, Threats and Situations. They also talked about bullying both at school and online which can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Dr. Barry Feldman of the UMass Medical School told 22News schools often have the opportunity to intervene before it’s too late, “In the context of community efforts to prevent suicide, schools play a major role. Kids spend an awful lot of time in schools and teachers, faculty and staff get to know the baseline of their students.”

Suicide takes the life of nearly 40,000 Americans every year and it’s estimated that bullying across the United State affects more than 30% of all students.

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