Youth Suicide Prevention Program Programs
Curricula for Kids
This program focuses on the development and implementation of school-based suicide prevention curricula to be used in K-12 classrooms. YSPP has developed innovative curricula packages for elementary schools, middle schools and high schools that have been tested extensively and listed on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s national Best Practices Registry.
Ready, Willing & Able Communities
YSPP places Field Coordinators in communities across the state to educate schools (K-12 and colleges) and community members about youth suicide and self-harm risk factors, warning signs and effective intervention techniques that laypersons can use to intervene with at-risk youth. Our work includes populations that are at a higher risk for suicide and self-harm: Native American youth, homeless youth, foster care youth, and youth in the juvenile justice system.
This outreach program is designed to address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth whose suicide rate as a group, studies show, is up to four times higher than the rate for heterosexual youth. We have also introduced an anti-bullying component to this program to help schools and community-based organizations learn how to address bias-based bullying and make their environments safer for LGBTQ youth.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
After a decade of knocking on doors to get into reluctant schools and social service organizations (many of whom originally told us that suicide is “not a problem” within their communities despite data to the contrary), YSPP is finally beginning to see the tipping point. We are fielding more requests for help than ever. We are being included in systemic approaches to at-risk youth, such as partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs to train youth workers to recognize and respond to suicide warnings and being asked to work with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to formulate and monitor the guidelines for schools to comply with the state’s new anti-bullying law. We also recently won federal support to launch new efforts in our state to connect low-income and uninsured youth in underserved communities with treatment for depression and suicide risk. It is clear that some doors that were previously closed to YSPP have started to open and communities are asking for our services more than ever. The problem is that this growth is all happening at a time when our state’s economy is crashing and basic needs have eclipsed prevention programs as a priority for many funders. YSPP has already been warned that its state funding (which has already been seriously reduced) could be eliminated completely within the next few years. It is crucial that we broaden our base of funding support.