Youth Suicide Prevention Programs

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
As the second-leading cause of death among those aged 10 to 24, youth suicide is a critical concern in the United States. Read on to learn about youth-focused suicide prevention programs and initiatives.

Programs for the Prevention of Youth Suicide

Many youth suicide prevention programs exist to help young people in crisis and the classmates, teachers, parents and other adults who care about them. Some programs offer intervention and support for those thinking about suicide, while others provide suicide awareness initiatives and prevention training. These are a few of the most prominent.

Peer Programs

The U OK? Friends Ask! Program. Created by the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide (NCPYS), the U OK? program provides resources and support for high school students to organize and implement suicide awareness and prevention activities. Each school or group of students may organize a unique U OK? activity, but all must include an educational component that covers suicide warning signs as well as how to help and respond to someone who is contemplating suicide. Each program must also include a fundraising component for the NCPYS.

The Jason Foundation. Along with resources for parents, teachers and other adults who work with youth groups, the Jason Foundation has two youth-driven awareness and prevention initiatives. The B1 Program, which has the country band Rascal Flatts as an ambassador, is a suicide prevention pledge that says a student understands suicide, warning signs, and how to react to a suicide crisis situation. The Jason Foundation's A Friend Asks initiative, meanwhile, offers a free mobile app that provides information and guidance for both students struggling with thoughts of suicide and their peers.

Hotlines

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This nationwide 24/7 hotline connects youth and adults in crisis with trained counselors.

Your Life Your Voice. An initiative of the Boys Town National Hotline, Your Life Your Voice offers young adults who are thinking about suicide access to counselors via phone, chat, email or text.

Programs for Specialized Groups

ULifeline. Designed for college students, the ULifeline program provides support to students via phone or text and connects them with appropriate resources at their colleges or universities.

The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project provides a myriad of suicide prevention programs and services for LGBT youth in crisis. Programs include a 24/7 hotline, support via chat or text, and a social networking community. The Trevor Project also offers LGBT-focused training programs for teachers, staff and faculty at middle schools, high schools and universities. These resources include workshops, lesson plans and online training modules.

Additional Youth Suicide Prevention Resources for Educators

A variety of agencies and organizations offer youth suicide prevention information and training for teachers and administrators. For example:

If you know someone who is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 to get help.

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