More and more young people are struggling and don’t want – or know how – to ask for help. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are contributing to the struggles, as are cultural pressures and norms. Supporting and empowering young people can make a difference, but we need more education about the warning signs of suicide prevention and more resources for peer-to-peer intervention.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative that suicide prevention programs are implemented in schools and communities across Ohio. From legislative requirements to post-pandemic mental health concerns, the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation is focusing on two core programmatic efforts for youth: Sources of Strength and Be Present Ohio.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people, accounting for more than 6,000 deaths in the US per year. In 2020, 247 Ohioans 10-24 years of age died by suicide.
For youth ages 10-14, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
Nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have made an attempt to take their lives.
45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year and 14% of LGBTQ youth attempted suicide in the past year.
The suicide rate among Black youth, has doubled since 2014 and is now twice the statewide average.
Existing mental health or substance use disorder
Impulsive behaviors and tendencies
Changes in family (divorce, parent loss, etc)
Changes in friendships or romantic relationships
Peer or social conflict
Problems in school
Environmental factors (ex. Access to lethal means)
Family history of suicide
Exposure to suicidal behaviors of others
Prior suicide attempt(s)
Teens and young adults are dealing with a lot. Even when they don’t show it on the outside, they feel it on the inside. The struggle, as they say, is real. Unfortunately, keeping things inside can lead to tough times, a broken spirit, or even thoughts of suicide.
Be Present exists to connect teens and young adults to help and hope through mental health resources, information, and peer-to-peer support.
Sources of Strength is a comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse, bullying and violence. Sources of Strength is available for elementary and secondary grades and can be implemented in schools or community settings.