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Teens in Crisis: Preventing Suicide and Other Self-Destructive Behavior

NCJ Number
T C Barrett
Date Published
27 pages
This booklet discusses the factors and motives in teen suicides and other teen self-destructive behaviors and suggests how to prevent such behavior.
After documenting the progressive rise in the rate of juvenile suicides over the last three decades, myths and facts about teen suicides are outlined. Factors and motives for teen suicides and self-destructive behavior encompass circumstances and behaviors. These include revenge, manipulation, guilt, a parent's death, a close friend's death, alienation, family stress, and recent failure. Suggestions for prevention emphasize getting youth involved in relationships and activities that bolster self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Guidelines for school suicide prevention programs encompass the definition of a program, program components, staff and staff training, a suicide prevention curriculum, creation of crisis intervention teams, and networking with the community. Other topics discussed are peer counseling and parents as partners with the school in preventing suicide. Basic intervention strategies are outlined as are school strategies in the event of a student's suicide. Examples of programs for helping youth are provided. Resource list, 22-item bibliography.