SpeakUp ReachOut event with Dr. Lisa Strohman focuses on self-harm
Strohman will offer insights into how to address cutting and disordered eating
Positive coping skills are one of the most important things a youth can learn. They help build resilience, confidence and are vital for overcoming adversity. What happens when youth do not learn positive coping skills? What happens when they turn to self-harm as a way to cope? Unfortunately, there are youth who adopt various types of self-harm into their daily life to alleviate the pressures of typical adolescence, school stress, social anxiety, loss of connection and feelings of sadness and/or loneliness.
The first step for parents, teachers and anyone who works with youth is to learn about this topic. According to experts, when self-harm is not professionally treated, it has the potential to be linked to suicide. On Thursday, Feb. 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dr. Lisa Strohman will be presenting information about two particular types of self-harm: cutting and disordered eating.
The virtual event is free to all community members, but registration is required. Youth ages 14 and up with a trusted adult are allowed to tune in.
Strohman will discuss these connections and teach participants how to identify the warning signs. The event will also explore various perspectives with a local panel as well as how to get help. The panel includes a local paren (Caroline Bradford), a young adult college freshman (Saphira Klearman), Colorado Mountain Medical pediatrician Dr. Janet Engle; and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health Outreach Operations Manager Kala Bettis, who is also a former high school counselor.
Dr. Lisa, as she likes to be called, is no stranger to the Vail Valley community. She has been sharing her expertise about technology misuse for the last few years. What she has observed in her private practice in the past year has prompted her to speak out.
“Clinically, I have never encountered such extreme levels of stress, anxiety, and depression among our children. There is an unacceptable number of students on the brink of giving up because of stressors such as the pandemic, civil unrest, and a tense post-election climate,” Strohman said.
Looking back to her freshman year of high school and reflecting on her lived experience with self-harm, Saphira Klearman would tell herself “it’s not your job to fix people. You are allowed to be there for help, but you also have to take care of yourself. Drawing those boundaries are necessary.”
Local data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (administered by Mountain Youth) tells us that in 2019, 14.3 percent of high school students wanted to harm themselves without wanting to die. The data also tells us that 15 percent of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months (in 2019).
The board and staff of SpeakUp ReachOut believes suicide is everyone’s business. The importance of holding spaces for these community conversations leads to a healthy community for all.
SpeakUp ReachOut, founded in 2009, exists to prevent suicide prevention in the Eagle River Valley through training, awareness and hope. Visit http://www.speakupreachout.org to learn more. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call The Hope Center of the Eagle Valley at 970-306-HOPE (4673) or Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-8255
Self harm: What is it and what we do about it
When: February 11, 6-7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Ages: 14 and up with a trusted adult