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Online Youth Suicide Prevention: Skills for School Staff, Parents and Peers

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
258 E 10TH AVE, STE B EUGENE, OR 97401-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Online Youth Suicide Prevention: Skills for School Staff, Parents and Peers
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43HD049197-01A2
Award Amount: $182,697.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Evidence suggests that 90 percent of adolescents with suicidal intentions give clear signals of their intent to others. Considering the large amount of time adolescents spend interacting with peers and school staff, school is the logical setting for prevention. In fact, over 25 percent of teachers surveyed indicate that they have been approached by teens at risk for suicide, yet only one teacher in nine feels confident about identifying an at-risk student. Recognizing the importance of suicide-prevention efforts, 75 percent of all high schools in the U.S. require suicide prevention education. The key to prevention is to equip those who spend time with adolescents, such as school staff, parents and peers, to identify warning signs, connect helpfully with the distressed teen, and provide appropriate referral. Current school-based youth suicide prevention gatekeeper programs lack effective skill-building components and provide no mechanism for practice and maintenance of knowledge and skills. The central aim of this proposed project is to address deficiencies in current training programs by developing and evaluating an online youth suicide prevention program that complements and improves existing programs. The proposed program will provide school staff, parents and students with an easily accessed training resource targeted to their needs, including interactive multimedia, streaming-video situational vignettes, interactive-web exercises, self-assessments, and an expert-moderated online community room with discussions on key topics. This system of instructionally sound activities will foster proficiency in the three key intervention practices (i.e., identify, connect with, and refer). In Phase I, we will develop and evaluate an online training module for school staff. To assess the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of the online training program we will employ a two-panel, pre- and post-training design with 40 school staff. The formative information gathered during the trial phase will be used for product improvement and refinement in Phase II. During Phase II, a large randomized controlled trial will be used to compare standard gatekeeper training to gatekeeper training complemented by the proposed online skills-training program. PROJECT NARRATIVE: Youth suicide is a public health crisis, ranking third as overall cause of death among teenagers. Since 1960, the incidence of youth suicide has increased by 300 percent. This project addresses expert consensus that we must take immediate action to interrupt this crisis.

Principal Investigator:

Laura M. Jones

Business Contact:

Adam Wendt
Small Business Information at Submission:

258 E 10TH AVE, STE B EUGENE, OR 97401 EUGENE, OR 97401

EIN/Tax ID: 931249861
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No