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During this month’s emphasis on Suicide Prevention among youth, we’d like to pause and celebrate four exemplary programs and resources that do exemplary work on suicide prevention. No, these aren’t the only great programs out there, but we’d like to highlight four here.

Teen Link

The first is based in Seattle, Washington and is called “Teen Link.”  Teen Link began in 1996 after the tragic death of the 16-year-old daughter of a Seattle Crisis Clinic employee. This young woman had encountered abuse but wasn’t able to connect with services to get her help back then. As we now know, sometimes it takes only one meaningful connection between a troubled youth and another person who cares. Today, Teen Link answers calls and online chats from teens needing support. They offer confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental help for youth ages 13 – 20 every evening between 6 – 10 PM Pacific Time.  What’s especially cool is that calls are often answered by highly trained teen volunteers! These volunteers and many others provide listening, coaching, and identifying resources in the local area. The Downs Group LLC understands from several key professionals in the area that Teen Link is one of the best suicide prevention resources going. Congratulations Teen Link!  Want to learn more?  Here you go: https://866teenlink.org


The Suicide Prevention Resource Center is a national and federally supported resource center funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ SAMHSA program.  The SPRC provides technical assistance, training and resource materials to improve professionals’ knowledge and expertise in suicide prevention. To learn more about SPRC please check out http://www.sprc.org

To Live to See the Great Day that Dawns

Suicide rates are significantly higher among Native American and Alaska Native youth. The SPRC, working with SAMHSA, provided an outstanding resource in 2010 on supporting Native American and Alaska Native youth.  You can access it here:  http://www.sprc.org/sites/default/files/migrate/library/Suicide_Prevention_Guide.pdf

Hawkeye Community College

Something really interesting and unusual happened during the 2016 Suicide Prevention week in Waterloo, Iowa! Hawkeye Community College provided a dramatic display of shoes all around their campus. Each pair of shoes represented a life taken by a suicidal college student. We invite you to watch this 2:05 long TV report on this program:


Know Others? Let us know!

If you know of other exemplary programs, resources and strategies on suicide prevention with youth, please share them here:  info@DownsConsultingGroup.com . Thanks!

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Dr. Chris Downs has devoted much of his professional career to improving services and outcomes for older, at-risk youth. Chris is President of The Downs Group LLC, based in Seattle and has the pleasure of working with many talented professionals in child welfare and allied areas including his company Associates.