Preventing adolescent suicide: a community takes action

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2010 May;48(5):34-41. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20100303-01.


Suicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young people in the United States. The etiology of suicide in this population has eluded policy makers, researchers, and communities. Although many suicide prevention programs have been developed and implemented, few are evidence-based in their effectiveness in decreasing suicide rates. In one northern California community, adolescent suicide has risen above the state's average. Two nurses led an effort to develop and implement an innovative grassroots community suicide prevention project targeted at eliminating any further teen suicide. The project consisted of a Teen Resource Card, a community resource brochure targeted at teens, and education for the public and school officials to raise awareness about this issue. This article describes this project for other communities to use as a model. Risk and protective factors are described, and a comprehensive background of adolescent suicide is provided.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • California
  • Community Participation*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • Marketing of Health Services / methods*
  • Program Development
  • Suicide Prevention*