Suicide is a leading cause of death among youth. Suicide screening programs aim to identify mental health issues and prevent death by suicide.
The present study evaluated outcomes of a multi-stage screening program implemented over 3 school years in a moderately-sized Midwestern high school.
One hundred ninety-three 9th-grade students were screened in the program. Students who screened positive were referred to mental health services and followed. Suicide-related thoughts and behaviors among 9th-grade students in the school with screening were compared to those of students in a similar school without screening.
There was a significant increase in utilization of mental health services among students who screened positive and a decrease in rates of suicidal ideation and attempts among 9th-grade students at the school with screening.
This multi-stage screening program shows promise in addressing suicide-related behaviors in schools. Randomized trials are needed to confirm program efficacy.