Welcome to the Los Angeles County Youth Suicide Prevention Project website. This website has been especially developed for the 80 school districts within Los Angeles County, to provide administrators, staff, parents and students with current information about the prevention, intervention and postvention of suicide among our youth.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10-24; only accidents occurred more frequently according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC, 2015). Each year, suicide continues to claim more youth lives than homicides, heart disease, congenital birth defects, influenza, diabetes, and chronic low respiratory disease combined (CDC, 2015).
National Suicide Facts - Reported by the CDC in 2015
American Indians/Alaska Natives adolescents and young adults are more likely to die by suicide than any other ethnic group, followed by Hispanic, Caucasian, and African American students (CDC, 2015).
Adolescents who experience depression and feelings of hopelessness are at high risk for suicidal behavior.1 Many students who have died by suicide struggled with unmet mental health needs.2 Suicide is preventable and it is important to know the warning signs, risk factors, and to how to refer an individual experiencing suicidal thoughts to resources. This website provides information on how to support students experiencing suicidal behavior.
According to the CDC, suicidal behavior is defined as:
Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are more common than death by suicide. It is important to remember that all suicide attempts should be taken seriously and help should be sought immediately. Suicide attempts and thoughts of suicide indicate a person is in extreme distress and therefore in need of mental health support by a qualified professional (NIMH, 2016). This help can be obtained through emergency room evaluations in imminent or emergency situations. Below are resources to assist persons struggling with suicidal ideation.
For life-threatening emergencies: Call 911
Horwitz, A. G., Berona, J., Czyz, E. K., Yeguez, C. E. & King, C. A. (2017). Positive and negative expectations of hopelessness as longitudinal predictors of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior in high-risk adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 47(2), 168-176. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sltb.12273
National Institute of Mental Health. (2016). NIMH answers questions about suicide. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/nimh-answers-questions-about-suicide/index.shtml
Center for Disease Control. (2015). Understanding Suicide: Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide_factsheet-a.pdf