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Thank you for taking a moment to stop and read this piece. These days, the topic of mental health is at the forefront of many discussions in school, at home, in the community—essentially in every space we interact. Please know that however you are feeling — whatever you are feeling — help and resources are here.

For adult crisis intervention resources, please reach out to the Department of Health and Social Services at 1-800-652-2929 in New Castle County or 1-800-345-6785 in Southern Delaware. If your child or a child you care about needs crisis intervention services, call Delaware’s 24/7 Youth Crisis Support (Mobile Response and Stabilization Services) at 1-800-969-HELP (4357). Children and adults can also text the Crisis Text Line by texting DE to 741741. You are not alone.

We are compelled to write this piece to shed light on a necessary, but tough dialogue about mental health and suicide. Recently, there have been high-profile suicides in the news, including former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst and Ian Alexander Jr., award-winning actress Regina King’s son. For many of us, the COVID pandemic has exacerbated already existing mental health challenges and put undeniable stress on families. Many people, regardless of age, are coping with feelings of loss and isolation. Some are facing daily challenges at work and at school. Some may be struggling to meet their basic needs. Our youth often have fewer emotional resources or healthy strategies to manage distress. It can also be frightening to see stories on the news of people taking their own lives, and even more impactful when this happens close to home.

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