Suicide claims the lives of over 1,300 Pennsylvanians each year – an average of 3.5 lives each day. It is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24.
Since the 1980s, Pennsylvania has made strong efforts to prevent youth suicide through programs such as the Student Assistance Program (SAP), Services for Teens at Risk (STAR Center), the Yellow Ribbon Program, and a variety of other approaches in local areas. In 2001, Pennsylvania developed its own youth suicide prevention plan, based on the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. One of the goals in the plan is to “promote awareness that youth suicide is a public health problem that is preventable.” This website is one way we are to working to achieve that goal. Note: This website focuses on Youth Suicide Prevention in Pennsylvania.
Information about Pennsylvania’s adult and older adult suicide prevention initiatives is available on the Pennsylvania Recovery and Resiliency website.
If you are concerned about someone, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Talk about wanting to die, be dead, or about suicide, or are they cutting or burning themselves?
2. Feeling like things may never get better, seeming like they are in terrible emotional pain (like something is wrong deep inside but they can’t make it go away), or they are struggling to deal with a big loss in their life?
3. Or is your gut telling you to be worried because they have withdrawn from everyone and everything, have become more anxious or on edge, seem unsually angry, or just don’t seem normal to you?
For more information on youth suicide warning signs, visit: www.youthsuicidewarningsigns.org