FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Suicide is the second leading cause for people between the ages of 10 to 24 years old, according to the CDC.

The Frederick County Mental Health Association is trying to start conversations about mental health and suicide prevention due to this being an increase with younger people.

“Over the course of the past two years of the pandemic there is more and more youth who are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression,” CEO of The Mental Health Association Shannon Aleshire said. “So we wanted to kind of provide a baseline of knowledge to the community about suicide and make it okay to say that word and talk about suicide because that’s the only way that we’re going to provide a suicide safe community.”

During the holidays the MHA advises that if you’re having suicidal thoughts to visit one of their walk-in clinics or contact their 24 hour call centers.

“I know that that it tends to be a rushed time but if we kind of take a step back and remember those simple things about getting enough sleep, eating the right things, trying to get some kind of level of exercise, even if it’s just a quick walk around the block every day, and limiting our intake of alcohol and nicotine that can really go a long way to making your mental health improve,” Aleshire explains.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health this holiday season, visit FCMHA.org