Scott LaMar has worked in both radio and television for more than four decades.
Currently, LaMar is the Host and Executive Producer of the daily Smart Talk news and public affairs program on WITF-FM, 89.5 & 93.3 in Harrisburg, Pa.
Previously, LaMar was WITF TV’s Sr. Public Affairs producer and produced the station’s award-winning weekly public affairs TV program Smart Talk.
LaMar was a regular contributor to BBC World News TV before and after the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.
The American Society of Civil Engineers honored LaMar with their national Excellence in Journalism award in 2020. LaMar was the only recipient of the award nationally. He has won more than a dozen Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcast Awards since 2000 and has been nominated for five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.
LaMar and Smart Talk have been recognized throughout the Central Pennsylvania community including ADVOZ Lancaster’s first “Dignity in Dialogue Award”, the South-Central Assembly’s “Regional Citizen Award” and was named a “Humanitarian Hero” by The Humane Society of the United States/Pennsylvania.
A native of Coatesville, Pa., LaMar has also worked as a broadcast news anchor, sports play-by-play announcer and manager.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 25 percent of 18-24 year olds had seriously considered suicide compared to 11 percent in 2018.
Complete statistics for suicides in 2020 aren’t available but anecdotally, hospital emergency departments and coroners say they have seen an increase in suicide attempts. Those that suffered from underlying mental health illnesses or conditions before the pandemic at at risk now because their treatments may have been disrupted or stopped.
Wednesday’s Smart Talk focuses on suicide during the pandemic.
What to do if you suspect someone is suicidal:
• Talk to them alone in a private setting
• Ask them if they are thinking of killing themselves or are suicidal
• Ask them if they have a plan
If the answer is yes, call your local County Crisis Team or take them to the Emergency Room RIGHT AWAY and DON’T leave them alone. If the answer is no, make an appointment for them to see a mental health professional, i.e., therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or doctor as soon as possible, and ask them how you can help them. Also, find out who is in their support system (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) and let them know to try and help. Ask them to make an agreement with you that they will not hurt themselves before they get help, or that they will contact you if they feel they are in crisis, or feeling worse.
• Talking about suicide, wanting to die, kill oneself
• Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
• Talking about feeling worthless, hopeless, or having no reason to live
• Talking about being a burden to others
• Suddenly happier and calmer, especially after a period of depression or sadness
• Giving away prized possessions
• Getting affairs in order, making arrangements
• Increasing alcohol or drug use
• Preoccupation with death
• Acting anxiously or agitated; behaving recklessly.
• Sleeping too little or too much.
• Withdrawal from or changing in social connections/situations
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
• Displaying extreme mood swings.
• Anger or hostility that seems out of character or out of context
• Recent increased agitation or irritability
• Diagnosis of Depression
• Previous suicide attempt
• Family history of suicide
• Loss of job, home, money
• Death or terminal illness of a loved one
• Divorce or loss of major, significant relationship
• Loss of health, either real or imagined
• Someone close to the person has completed suicide
• Recent disappointment or rejection
• Being expelled from school/fired from job
• Sudden loss of freedom/fear of punishment
• Victim of assault or bullying
• Questioning gender