Suicide is the leading cause of death for homeless youth, with more than 70% reporting suicidal thoughts and around 50% having a history of suicide attempts. This means that homeless youth are 4 times more likely to have attempted suicide than non-homeless youth. LGBTQ+ homeless youth have even higher rates and are twice as likely to die by suicide as homeless heterosexual youth.
Foster care youth are at tremendous risk as well. Foster care youth are 3x more likely to significantly consider suicide, 4x more likely to have made a suicide attempt in the past 12 months and 5x more likely to be hospitalized following a suicide attempt when compared to non-foster care youth. Youth involved in the child welfare system experience higher rates of mental illness and substance use as well.
Homeless Services, LA County Department of Public Social Services
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program
Fact sheet on access teams to connect families to homeless support and services.
LA County 211 Homeless Resources
Guide to homeless housing options and services.
Child Welfare Division, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
Provides multiple coordinated services for children and youth at risk of entering the foster care system.
Crisis Intervention Team Methods for Using data to Inform Practice, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
This toolkit provides detailed information on how schools can organize in the areas of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.
Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices
This technical package by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help communities and states sharpen their focus on prevention activities with the greatest potential to prevent suicide.