A national survey of school-based, adolescent suicide prevention programs

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1989 Nov;28(6):931-4. doi: 10.1097/00004583-198911000-00019.


A national survey of suicide prevention programs was conducted to determine the number, distribution and content of school-based, curriculum programs for adolescents. One hundred fifteen programs were identified. The total number of students and schools targeted for prevention efforts more than doubled during the academic years 1984/1985 to 1986/1987. Content of the programs was similar, with nearly all including information on suicide warning signs and other facts, as well as on accessing community mental health resources. Most included a separate component for school staff and parents. Ninety-five percent subscribed to the view that suicide is most commonly a response to extreme stress or pressure and could happen to anyone. Possible negative implications of this "stress model" of suicide were discussed. While this survey plays an important first step in providing a description of these programs, more evaluative research is needed to determine what effect, if any, these programs have on suicidal behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Preventive Health Services
  • School Health Services*
  • Suicide / prevention & control*
  • United States