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Youth Suicide Prevention

Overview

Rates of youth suicide have been rising since 2011. Concerned over this trend, the 2014 Oregon Legislature commissioned the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to:

  • Develop and oversee implementation of a five-year Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan
  • Convene an advisory group, the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide
  • Provide postvention (after a suicide) technical assistance to Local Mental Health Authorities

The 2019-2021 Governor's Recommended Budget included dedicated funding for Youth Suicide Prevention for the first time in Oregon’s history. With this investment, some of the OHA initiatives are to:

  • Create statewide access to the “Big Six” suicide prevention, intervention and postvention programs
  • Fully fund the 24/7 crisis line 
  • Add suicide prevention staff, including an adult suicide prevention coordinator
  • Add funding for a peer-to-peer text/phone/chat service and youth development program

​A competent and confident behavioral and physical health care workforce can ensure early identification of suicide risk and use of evidence-informed strategies to address the needs of suicidal individuals. 60 to 70 percent of individuals who die by suicide see a medical or behavioral health care professional in the year before death.

Senate Bill 48 (2017) was designed to support the behavioral and physical healthcare workforce by promoting continuing education in suicide assessment, treatment and management.

OHA has compiled a list of continuing education courses for consideration. 

  • OHA does not endorse or approve these courses.
  • Licensees should contact their licensing boards (listed below) to determine if a class meets their board’s criteria for approved continuing education credits.

Reporting requirements

SB 48 requires providers licensed by the following agencies to report any suicide assessment, treatment and management continuing education they’ve taken.

The Oregon Medical Board and the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission survey their providers. OHA surveys providers licensed by other boards at re-licensure as part of the Health Care Workforce Reporting program. OHA compiles and reports this information to the Oregon legislature each even-numbered year.

​During 2015, OHA's Health Systems Division and Public Health Division partnered with subject matter experts to create the Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan for 2016 - 2020. Learn more about the plan on the Public Health Division website.

The Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide oversees implementation of the Plan, evaluates the effectiveness of prevention programs, monitors risk factors and advises OHA regarding public policy agenda priorities for suicide prevention across Oregon.

To learn more about Oregon's progress meeting the goals of the plan, read OHA's Youth Suicide Annual Reports:

Senate Bill 561 (2015) requires Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) as defined in ORS 430.630 to do the following when suicides occur in youth (age 24 years or younger):

  • Work with partners to develop plans for information-sharing and response;
  • Prepare communities to respond in a way that reduces the risk of more suicide (contagion) among friends, loved ones or peers left behind after the death; and 
  • Report deaths to OHA within 7 days of death so that OHA can provide technical assistance on best practices in responding to suicides and reducing contagion risks.

Resources

Contact

Page Info

​Jill Baker
Youth Suicide Prevention Policy Coordinator
503-339-6264

she/her/hers

Shanda Hochstetler
Youth Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator​

503-890-3575

she/her/hers

Links

  
  
  
  
  
  

Resources

  
  
  
  
  

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