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Youth Suicide Prevention


Stephen Roggenbaum

Principal Investigators:

  • Stephen Roggenbaum

Youth suicide is a critical yet under-reported and under-treated public health crisis. Claiming a documented 4,140 individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for this age group. USF’s Department of Child & Family Studies has been responding to this issue in a number of ways, including Resource Development, Public Awareness, Education and Training, and Active Participation in Suicide Prevention at the Local, State, and National Level. Examples are listed below.

Resource Development

One resource example is the CFS-created Youth Suicide Prevention School-based Guide to help schools address youth suicide. This is not a program but a tool that provides a framework for schools to assess their existing or proposed suicide prevention efforts (through a series of checklists) and provides resources and information that school administrators can use to enhance or add to their existing program. The Youth Suicide Prevention School-based Guide’s Checklists are included on Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Best Practice Registry for Suicide Prevention. The Guide is online with over 28,800 US and international website visitors during 2010 for an average of 85 visitors per day. Thirty components of the online version of The Guide were downloaded between 1,042 and 2,528 times during 2010.

Public Awareness

CFS hosted a Suicide Survivor Panel for a class at USF (Suicide Issues in Behavioral Healthcare), which was video taped and uploaded as a free “public access” course to USF/FMHI’s “Online Learning in Children’s Mental Health” website http://onlinelearningincmh.com/ (scroll down towards the bottom of the page for a link to the suicide survivor panel under Community Awareness and click.  Folks can log in as guests [for free] to view the panel).

CFS established a website to support suicide prevention coalition building and listing suicide prevention action steps and resources. Created Florida Suicide Prevention Strategy awareness brochure that unfolds into a mini-posters listing action steps. Suicide prevention advocates distributed about 12,000.  CFS redesigned a second Florida Suicide Prevention Strategy brochure version and printed 20,000 in conjunction with Florida’s Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention. Numerous national conference and local community presentations have been made.

Education and Training

Developed an online suicide prevention awareness and risk assessment training module for Baker Act facility staff and created an undergraduate elective course about Suicide Issues In Behavioral Healthcare. Developed a webinar on "Youth Suicide Prevention: The Basics".

Active Participation at Local, State, and National Level

Active participation in local task forces, Gubernatorial appointee to Florida’s Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, and serve on American Association of Suicidology’s (AAS) School Suicide Prevention Accreditation Program development team and AAS’s 2010/11 Nomination Committee. Additionally, participated as Field Reviewer for Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP 50): Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors With Clients in Substance Abuse Treatment and as an SAMHSA invited participant in Addressing Suicide Issues In System Of Care: Identifying Strategies for Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention meeting between system of care experts and suicide prevention experts.


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