Suicide is a serious health problem among adolescents. According to research conducted by JAMA Pediatrics in 2020, teens made up a greater proportion of suicide numbers in 14 states. The report points to the growing mental health challenges faced by the younger generation. In order to help communities and societies meet the challenge of teen suicide, a variety of teen suicide prevention programs exist.
These programs formulate and implement suicide prevention strategies in various areas of life. Let’s dive into some of these teen suicide prevention programs and understand their actions and performance.
1. School gate guard training
This teen suicide prevention program is designed to help staff in educational institutions—coaches, teachers, and counselors—to measure student behavior. This will help them identify and help students at risk of suicide. The program also teaches staff how to respond to the suicide crisis on campus.
2. Community gatekeeper training
These programs train health care providers who work with adolescents and community members (think clergy, merchants, police, etc.) to identify and refer adolescents at risk of suicide. They are taught to create a safe space for teens to talk about their feelings and emotions.
Read more: The emergence of “BIPOC”.
3. Public education about suicide
This suicide prevention program is for students. As part of them, students are taught what suicide is and the warning signs associated with it. Students are also introduced to the different help channels that they can use in case of adverse situations. Initiatives under this program include various activities to build social competence and self-esteem.
4. Screening software
Adolescent suicide prevention programs use various screening methods such as questionnaires to identify and report students at risk of suicide. The identified students are then referred for professional help. Frequent assessments were conducted as part of the program for:
- Measuring changes in students’ attitudes or behaviour,
- Testing the overall effectiveness of a suicide prevention program, and
- Detect any possible signs of suicidal behavior.
5. Peer support programs
Initiatives under this program can be conducted both on and off campus. It aims to enhance peer relationships and increase social interaction among high-risk adolescents.
6. Crisis centers and hotlines
Crisis centers and hotlines have trained staff who provide telephone counseling and other related services to suicidal individuals. These programs also provide referrals to mental health services and “deliveries” to crisis centers.
Read more: The new 988 suicide hotline
7. Intervention after suicide
This program is for family members and friends dealing with death by suicide. Partly aimed at controlling suicide clusters. They help teens and family members deal with the grief of losing a loved one or friend to suicide.
Concerted efforts are required from all segments of society to combat the mental health challenges faced by young people. In addition, it is essential that all adolescent suicide prevention programs listed above be linked to appropriate mental health care resources. Increasing the number of prevention programs for adolescents will expand the range of activities. This may help drive the effectiveness of the strategies.
Other than suicide, there are a plethora of social issues that have plagued young people’s lives. To read more about it, click over here.
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