Teen Suicide Prevention: After School Announces Second Annual Social Media Safety in Schools Conference

All-day event on January 17th to tackle social media's role in reducing teen suicide

San Francisco, California, Dec. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On January 17, 2018, After School will host the second annual Social Media Safety in Schools (SMSS) conference. This gathering will focus on how social media and technology can be used to help detect, and address mental health warning signs that lead to suicidal ideation, with the ultimate goal of significantly reducing teen suicides. The event will feature over 40 experts in online safety, social media, and teen mental health, as well as teenagers, educators, and parents.

The Center for Disease Control notes that the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 is suicide. “We chose to focus on teen suicide prevention because it is one of the most vital topics to address when it comes to the wellbeing of our young people,” says After School Vice President Jeff Collins. “Teens communicate today using digital devices. We all have a responsibility not just to teach teens how to use technology responsibly, but also to figure out how we can use technology to improve their lives and help them during hard times.”  

Organizations participating in the 2018 Social Media Safety in Schools conference include:

  • 7 Cups
  • Children’s Health Council
  • ConnectSafely
  • Crisis Text Line
  • Facebook
  • Kik
  • Mindstrong Health
  • My Digital TAT2
  • Suicide Prevention App
  • University of Oregon Suicide Prevention Lab
  • YouTube
  • District of Columbia Bullying Prevention Program
  • American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)

Moderated by “tech ethicist” David Ryan Polgar, After School’s Jeff Collins, and #ICANHELP’s Matt Soeth, the conference will feature interactive panels, keynote speakers, and small-group breakout sessions.

The inaugural SMSS event, held in San Francisco in January 2017, brought together social media companies, police, teachers, and online safety experts to discuss how to better prevent school-focused threats made on social media. Through presentations, interactive discussions, and small-group breakout sessions, participants created actionable ways to work together more effectively to keep schools and communities safe. “After our first event received kudos for bringing together these diverse stakeholders to work toward realistic solutions on tough issues, we decided to up the ante. SMSS2 will be a larger event, with an even more diverse group of stakeholders, on an arguably more difficult issue. Our goal is to facilitate a dynamic and creative environment where great minds tackle head-on challenging societal issues,” says Collins.  

Collins and the After School team are looking forward to this opportunity for professionals from a variety of backgrounds to learn from one another. The goal for the upcoming event is to find ways to leverage social media to help address one of the most pressing issues facing teens in America. For information about the conference, contact Press@AfterSchoolApp.com.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3621a155-f089-4b64-aa94-8c29c84305a6


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/84879a81-52ad-4fc2-8c5e-3163ef7e2e71


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