Suicide, a public health problem on a global scale, has become the focus in many domains across the United States. With the recent push to provide solutions to the adolescent suicide rate in the U.S., the school setting has become an important venue for prevention and intervention efforts. While there are many risk and protective factors, the majority of suicide completions are concurrent with psychiatric disorders among adolescents; as such, this is an area that warrants further investigation. Additionally, school resources are often overwhelmed by the magnitude of need among the student population; therefore, effective interventions must be identified that can feasibly be implemented in the schools. Research has suggested that parent-adolescent relationships are key in the prevention of suicide, yet minimal research has been conducted towards promoting healthy parent-adolescent relationships for at-risk adolescents. Additionally, some research suggests that school and community interventions are only more effective than parental support when negative parent-adolescent relationships are present. This implies that fostering parental support should be a top priority in school-based suicide prevention efforts. This literature review identifies and summarizes pertinent scholarly research and resources for schools to better support parents of adolescents who struggle with suicidal thoughts and previous attempted suicides. As part of an intervention plan which increases home/school collaboration in adolescent suicide prevention, handouts were developed for parents (found in the appendix), which include information on warning signs of suicide, risk factors for suicide, and methods of responding to suicidality. After adapting these handouts to best meet their students' needs, school-based mental health professionals may consider including these handouts in their school's crisis plan and suicide prevention efforts.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Whicker, Jennifer L., "Supporting Utah's Parents in Preventing Adolescent Suicide: A Literature Review and Handouts for Utah's Youth Suicide Prevention Manual" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 3275.
suicide, suicide prevention, suicide attempt, suicide risk factors, warning signs, adolescent, school, family, mental health, parent support