The AAS National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide believes that suicide can often be prevented. For example, many youth give warning signs if they are considering taking their lives, and intervening can save their lives. Other youth may be kept from reaching the point of even thinking about suicide by individuals reaching out and showing them they care. Strong communities, safe schools, and supportive families all help the development of healthy youth. For youth struggling with mental illness and or substance abuse, effective services make a difference.
The National Center has the goal of reducing the rate of youth suicide attempts and deaths by:
- Disseminating the warning signs of suicide through web outreach to dramatically increase the proportion of youth at risk who are identified and referred to appropriate mental health care and support.
- Partnering with other organizations to increase the development and use of best practices in suicide prevention among youth caregivers.
- Targeting at-risk groups of youth known to have higher rates of suicidal behavior, for example, bullied youth; youth in foster care; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.
- Developing strategies to move prevention efforts upstream, that is, to prevent and address suicide risk factors and to promote better mental health and resilience of all youth.
5. Engaging and empowering youth as partners in our grassroots suicide prevention efforts.
Early detection, effective caregivers, outreach to vulnerable youth, earlier prevention, and youth support for suicide prevention all contribute to lives saved!