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Ohio launches campaign to prevent youth suicide

The state of Ohio is launching a statewide campaign on social media aimed at preventing youth suicides.

The “Be Present” campaign encourages teens and young adults to step up and support their peers who are struggling with isolation, depression and other mental health issues.

“Many young people experience stress or anxiety as they find their way, and some have experienced trauma or have an evolving emotional disorder,” said Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck in a written release. “Be Present will raise awareness about the struggles young people face and link them to local and state resources, information, crisis intervention and other forms of care, if needed.”

Related: Ohio uses marketing muscle to push new crisis text line

The campaign, developed by MEE Productions, Inc., will target youth who are victims of bullying, are struggling with mental health issues or other stressors, and are most at risk for self-harm. Ads will run in print, online and on Pandora Radio and make use of social media channels — Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

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The campaign will urge teens and young adults to demonstrate the power of being present for those in need and offer toolkits for learning more and being an advocate or leader in helping those who are struggling.

The campaign is expected to run for five to seven months and will work with local schools and state entities, including Prevention Action Alliance and the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.

Related: Dayton VA signs pledge to combat suicide

If you or someone you know is in danger of self-harm:

• Text “4HOPE” to 741741 to be immediately connected with a trained, volunteer crisis counselor.

• The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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