Youth suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Nation wide it is the third leading cause of death in the 10-24 year old age group. The rate of suicide varies somewhat from state to state. In the state of Kentucky, youth suicide is the second leading cause of death. This article describes a grass root, community-based program for youth suicide prevention and its impact on the community. The Stop Youth Suicide Campaign was launched in October 2000 and included more than 30 local agencies. This program worked. through public education, education of medical care providers, schoolteachers, school counselors, youth service center personnel and many other entities that deal with adolescents. This program utilized face-to-face encounters, website, video and other forms of media education. Over a four-year period, the program has provided several conferences and many lectures and workshops to the community. The program has responded to many e-mails and phone calls from teens and/or their parents asking for help. During these years, many of these children that were seeking help ended up receiving appropriate help that contributed to changing their lives and helping them stay alive and also utilizing them to help others in that period. Simple grass roots programs are able to help and are needed in the community to combat this epidemic that is causing significant mortality and morbidity.

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Published in International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, v. 17, no. 3, p. 267-274.

© Freund Publishing House Ltd.

The copyright holder has granted permission for posting the article here.

Reprinted as a book chapter in Rural Child Health: International Aspects, Erica Bell & Joav Merrick (Eds.), p. 167-170.

Reprinted as a book chapter in Adolescent Behavior Research: International Perspectives. Joav Merrick, & Hatim A. Omar, (Eds.). p. 75-78.

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