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Resources for Child and Youth Populations

According to the CDC, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among youths aged 10-241, with the fastest-growing rates among youth ages 10142. There is significant racial disparity where the rate of suicide among Black youth ages 13 and younger is twice that for White youth3 . Suicide prevention and treatment for youth must be developmentally appropriate, attend to critical social determinants of health, assess the presence of adverse childhood events (ACEs) and trauma, incorporate parental or guardian support, and address consent considerations4.  When youth are identified as being at risk for suicide, clinicians need to be well-versed in the assessment and management of suicidality. Suicide risk assessment and collaborative safety planning should incorporate a discussion of barriers to health and safety, including physical and environmental factors (where the family or child lives), presence of firearms or other lethal means (e.g. medications) in the home, and neighborhood safety. 

Effective youth suicide prevention requires primary prevention strategies as part of a comprehensive approach that incorporates the health system and extends into schools and the community5. When focusing specifically on health care settings, one relevant approach is the Zero Suicide framework, which has been adapted for application in pediatric settings to improve care for youth at risk of suicide. Health systems implementing the Zero Suicide framework have developed and implemented care pathways specifically for use with pediatric populations that incorporate the use of validated tools, best practices, and necessary integration with the support systems crucial for effective suicide prevention with children and adolescents. While the systems transformation needed for effective youth suicide can present challenges, comprehensive approaches to preventing youth suicide are imperative to saving lives. 

Search for tools and resources related to suicide prevention with children and youth populations below. 

  • 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (June 2020). Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars
  • 2. Horowitz, L., Tipton, M. V., & Pao, M. (2020). Primary and Secondary Prevention of Youth Suicide. Pediatrics, 145(Suppl 2), S195–S203.
  • 3. Bridge, J. A., Horowitz, L. M., Fontanella, C. A., Sheftall, A. H., Greenhouse, J., Kelleher, K. J., & Campo, J. V. (2018). Age-related racial disparity in suicide rates among US youths from 2001 through 2015. JAMA pediatrics, 172(7), 697-699.
  • 4. Thompson, M. P., Kingree, J. B., & Lamis, D. (2019). Associations of adverse childhood experiences and suicidal behaviors in adulthood in a US nationally representative sample. Child: care, health and development, 45(1), 121-128.
  • 5. Robinson, J., Bailey, E., Witt, K., Stefanac, N., Milner, A., Currier, D., ... & Hetrick, S. (2018). What works in youth suicide prevention? A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine, 4, 52-91.

Resources 1 - 15 of 15

Identify | Readings

Posner, K., Brown, G. K., Stanley, B., Brent, D. A., Yershova, K. V., Oquendo, M., . . . Mann, J. J. (2011). The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS): Initial validity and internal consistency findings from three multi-site studies with adolescents and adults. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168(12): 1233–1234.

Treat | Readings

Bigfoot, D. S., & Schmidt, S. R. (2010). Honoring children, mending the circle: cultural adaptation of trauma‐focused cognitive‐behavioral therapy for American Indian and Alaska Native children. Journal of clinical psychology,66(8), 847-856.

Transition | Readings

This two-page fact sheet features a strengths-based intervention that identifies the needs of youth and the goals that the youth and his or her family will work towards with the assistance of the…

Identify | Tools

The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) Toolkit is a free resource for medical settings (emergency department, inpatient medical/surgical units, outpatient clinics/primary care) 

Transition | Tools

The Chickasaw Nation has shared sample caring contact cards that include a message in the Chickasaw language. Youth and adult examples are included.

Transition | Readings

This success story details how the National Alliance on Mental Illness New Hampshire (NAMI NH) and New Hampshire Hospital established a care transitions program for youth inpatients. Aiming…

Engage | Tools

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) created a Clinical Pathway for Children and Adolescents At Risk for Suicide in Outpatient Behavioral Health Care as a guide for staff on how to…

Lead | Tools

American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations are at higher risk for suicide than other ethnic and racial groups, with youth and young adults being particularly at risk. Studies have found…

Identify | Tools

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau has released Critical Crossroads: Pediatric Mental Health Care…

Engage | Tools

The Seattle Children's Hospital created a Zero Suicide Initiative Pathway for use with children and youth presenting for care to allow for standardized processes for suicide risk screening…

Identify | Tools

This suicide risk screening pathway from the National Institute for Mental Health's ASQ Suicide Risk…

Identify | Tools

For children with parents working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, every day brings new fears, worries and anxieties. This resource from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center offers…

Lead | Tools

The purpose of this document is to provide trauma-informed telehealth guidance regarding safety assessment and planning for youth with suicidal or self-harm ideation and behaviors.

Engage | Webinars

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth ages 1024Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury…

Screening and Assessment | Podcasts

As a pediatrician screening for suicide, It’s not about the ones you find positive for suicide, it’s about the ones you may miss. This podcast, featuring Dr. Lisa Horowitz, a Staff Scientist and…