March 2014Vol. 15, No. 3Suicide Prevention for Youth
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 15–24. Youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system, especially those in residential facilities, have higher rates of suicide than their peers not involved with juvenile justice. Drawing on evidence that a comprehensive public health approach can be effective in reducing suicide rates, the Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has launched an initiative, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, in an effort to reduce the number of suicides among justice-involved youth. Given the correlation among youth involvement with the juvenile justice system and involvement with child welfare, these resources may be of use to child welfare and related professionals.
As part of this initiative, the task force has released a series of publications that describe the approaches showing promise, including education and training, assessment and treatment, and long-term prevention strategies. One publication, Preventing Juvenile Suicide through Improved Collaboration: Strategies for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Agencies, describes the need for collaboration and data sharing across the juvenile justice, behavioral health, and social services systems and discusses how cross-systems collaboration can enhance the effectiveness of suicide reduction efforts.
- Screening and Assessment for Suicide Prevention: Tools and Procedures for Risk Identification among Juvenile Justice Youth
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/JJ-6-R2-Screening-Assessment.pdf (311 KB)
- Guide to Developing and Revising Suicide Prevention Protocols for Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/JJ-7-P1-ProtocolGuidelines.pdf (337 KB)
- Preventing Juvenile Suicide through Improved Collaboration: Strategies for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Agencies
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/JJ-9-C2-CollaborationFullVersion.pdf (428 KB)
- Preventing Suicide: Working With Youth Who Are Justice Involved. Executive Summary
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/sites/actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/files/JJ-1_Exec_Summary_508_0.pdf (447 KB)
The task force's Public Awareness and Education Workgroup also has developed a series of factsheets to raise awareness among individuals who work with youth involved with the juvenile justice system, including:
- Need to Know: A Fact Sheet Series on Juvenile Suicide. Juvenile Court Judges and Staff
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/JJ-2_Juv_Court_Fact_Sheet_508.pdf (441 KB)
- Need to Know: A Fact Sheet Series on Juvenile Suicide. Juvenile Detention and Secure Care Staff
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/JJ-3_Juv_Detent_Fact_Sheet_508.pdf (487 KB)
- Need to Know: A Fact Sheet Series on Juvenile Suicide. Juvenile Probation Staff
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/JJ-4_Juv_Prob_Fact_Sheet_508.pdf (469 KB)
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is supported by grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.