Organization for Suicide Prevention Releases Life-Saving Resources
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) released a set of suicide prevention resources in November, as part of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. These resources are designed to better support professionals who work with youth in the juvenile justice system.
The nine resources were developed by the Action Alliance’s Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System Task Force, which is co-led by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Joseph J. Cocozza, PhD, the Executive Director of NCMHJJ, commented on the new resources by saying “These materials were developed collaboratively over the three-year period by a task force that included some of this country’s leading juvenile justice, mental health, and suicide prevention experts . . . it is a major contribution to the field” (Action Alliance, 2013).
According to the Action Alliance, youth in the juvenile justice system are more susceptible to “suicidal ideation, attempts, and deaths” than their counterparts outside of the system (2013). The new set of prevention protocols, guidelines, and tools will improve intervention standards and general mental health care in the system. They promote practices such as risk assessment and effective screening, while including information on suicide prevention literature, improved collaboration, revising current suicide prevention protocols, and fact sheets on juvenile suicide.
The Action Alliance was launched in 2010 by the US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The organization champions suicide prevention as a national priority.
The NCMHJJ was founded in 2001 to promote awareness of the mental health needs of youth in the juvenile justice system. They help the field develop policies and practices to respond to the issue facing this population.
The OJJDP provides leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. They help improve the juvenile justice system by holding offenders accountable, providing treatment and rehabilitation services, and protecting public safety.
The online versions on the resources can be found at these websites:
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. 2013. Suicide prevention tools focus on the care of at-risk juveniles. Retrieved from http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/system/files/JJPressRelease.pdf