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What Adults Need to Know About Youth Suicide Prevention

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We all have the power to prevent suicide and save lives. By identifying the warning signs, taking them seriously, and getting help, we can ensure suicide does not needlessly end young lives.

Suicide prevention training is a powerful tool to empower people to become Upstanders and inspire hope and action. Without these trainings, students and teachers may not know what to do if someone they know is having a suicidal crisis. Everyone deserves to have access to lifesaving suicide prevention information and training. Suicide is preventable when we have the right tools.

Sandy Hook Promise knows the impact of prevention. When young people know the signs and get help, lives can be saved.

Is Youth Suicide Really a National Problem?

Yes – youth suicide is a public health crisis in the United States. Since 2010, suicide has been the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24.1 Unfortunately, this has worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth across the country are in crisis and need more help than ever before. That’s why it’s so important to work toward a solution.

What is 988?

Recently, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) adopted the use of 988 as the new three-digit code connecting people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. People can also call or text 988 if they are concerned about a loved one who may need crisis support.

What Does Suicide Prevention Look Like for Children and Youth?

Youth suicide is preventable, but too many people don’t have the tools and resources they need to do know the warning signs and get help. That’s why we believe in universal youth suicide prevention programming. This means that all students in a school receive this education, not just those who are experiencing suicidal ideation. Universal prevention helps build a community that knows what warning signs are and what to do when they see them.

Does This Type of Training Actually Work?

Yes! Research has shown that evidence-based suicide prevention programs can help reduce suicide.2 They also help increase school harmony by decreasing incidents of interpersonal violence, bullying, aggression, suspensions, and expulsions.

Why Does Sandy Hook Promise Care About Youth Suicide Prevention?

Sandy Hook Promise works to keep youth safe from violence wherever they are – in their schools, their homes, and their communities. That means keeping them safe from suicide and self-harm, too. Sadly, youth suicide numbers are increasing, with just under 1 in 5 high school students reporting having seriously considered suicide in 2019.3 Student programming, such as our Say Something: Prevent Suicide training, is part of the solution to end gun violence and protect our students.

This Training Sounds Like a Good Idea. How Can I Help Bring Suicide Prevention Funding To My Community?

The federal government recently signed the Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act into law. This bill helps more schools fund suicide prevention training for students through SAMHSA’s Project AWARE program.

Your school can apply to receive funding for youth suicide prevention training. Help by reaching out and encouraging them to apply.

  1. Contact your school leadership. Tell them about the STANDUP Act and Project Aware.
  2. Ask them to consider applying for funding. See SAMHSA’s Project AWARE page for step-by-step information on how to apply.
  3. Let us know how it goes! Email us at [email protected].

Sources of What Adults Need to Know About Youth Suicide Prevention

  1. CDC
  2. County Health Rankings
  3. CDC