Brenda George

Emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts rose during the pandemic among adolescents. People of all ages are feeling the strain of social isolation and anxiety. For teenagers, these feelings can be compounded by bullying, which can lead to suicide. It is important for adults to be aware of the signs students display when contemplating suicide so they can get help.

Some of the most common symptoms of suicidal ideation in teens include: talking about wanting to die or hurting oneself, expressing feelings of hopelessness, talking about being a burden to others, increased alcohol or drug abuse, withdrawing from friends and activities, abnormal mood swings, and giving away prized possessions. If you notice that a teen you know is exhibiting any of these signs, it is important to talk to them and get them help. But where would you turn?

Registered nurse Brenda George is the co-founder of S.T.O.P. (Stop.Talk.Overcome.Pain), an initiative she started with her husband BL. They were inspired to create this because a friend’s daughter attempted suicide. Brenda came to realize that the suicide rate in Brazoria County, Texas increased by 30%. In Texas, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. Brenda and BL also saw this trend occurring throughout the country.

The Georges created an educator-approved campaign in collaboration with more than 35 local agencies in Brazoria County, hosting youth rallies and school events that focus on suicide prevention, anti-bullying, cyber-bullying awareness, and intervention.

In this episode we speak to Brenda about suicide prevention in youths, how to identify suicide risk factors, how bullying and cyberbullying contribute to suicide rates, and what her organization is doing to make a difference.

—William Jeffery is curating Flipboard EDU Podcast

Coach Jeffery” is an award-winning digital learning educator and principal at Columbia High School in Texas. His tech pedagogy continues to drive him to curate educational content on Flipboard that highlights teaching strategies, edtech, and ways to improve student success. He hosts the “Flipboard EDU Podcast” as yet another way to share resources with peers.