Skills in Youth Suicide Prevention


Skills in Youth Suicide Prevention


This 20-minute DVD uses compelling video examples to model right and wrong ways of responding to signs of teen distress.

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Developed with a Phase 1 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Skills in Youth Suicide Prevention: Recognizing and Responding to Teen Distress is an effective tool to train school staff and anyone who routinely works with youth in grades 7-­12 to be able to recognize and respond to teens who are at risk and may be considering suicide.

Skills in Youth Suicide Prevention staff training content was developed with input from content consultants: school staff, parent and student focus groups, and expert key informants. The contents were assessed for effectiveness with a panel of 42 school staff members.

Skills in Youth Suicide Prevention includes a DVD with 20 minutes of compelling video that can be used in staff training sessions to help participants recognize warning signs exhibited by youth they work with and give them basic tools to respond appropriately. A printable Viewer's Guide provides specific information tied to the video content and tips for implementing knowledge gained from the training. Additional printable handouts that support the program are available here at no charge.

Sample Videos



Skills Practice w/ "Rhoda"

Skills in Youth Suicide Prevention trains staff to:


  • Early warning signs such as difficulties in school, low self-esteem, change in sleeping or eating patterns, use or abuse of drugs or alcohol, overly self-critical, low energy, or withdrawal from normal activities.

  • Late warning signs such as neglecting personal appearance, talk of suicide or death, isolation from friends and family, conduct problems, aggressive behavior, extreme anxiety, agitation, or self-­injury, expressions of hopelessness or desperation, refusal of help, giving away prized possessions.


  • Speak privately

  • Engage in a calm, supportive way

  • Listen

  • Show empathy

  • Be direct

  • Ensure the student's safety

  • Know how to contact a crisis team member

Supplementary Information