September is Suicide Prevention Month

Adapted from:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Digital Shareables on Suicide Prevention. National Institute of Mental Health.
  • Risk factors, protective factors, and warning signs. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2022, March 30).
  • Suicide prevention month. NAMI.
New Gun Violence Fact Sheet based on results of the 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

Just released fact sheet based on results of the 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) indicates that, despite strong gun-related legislation enacted by the state of California,  gun safety and gun violence continue to be prominent concerns.  The fact sheet developed by RAND-UCLA collaborative team and other investigators is available HERE.

New PCORI Virtual Congressional Briefing on Suicide Prevention in Youth and Young Adults

Dr. Joan Asarnow joins a team organized by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to brief the U.S. Congress on youth suicide prevention and PCORI’s Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative. An expert panel discusses the current state of suicide prevention and highlights of PCORI-funded research on the topic that can help inform public policy strategies to prevent suicide. The briefing focuses on suicide in youth and young adults, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please click here to watch the full recording.

New Podcast Interview: Joan Asarnow, PhD, on Positive Suicide Screens in Pediatric ED Patients

Dr. Ilene Claudius, MD, FACEP, interviewed ASAP Center director, Dr. Joan Asarnow, on an effective approach to caring for pediatric patients who screen positive on a suicide screening tool without acute suicidality. Dr. Asarnow describes our ASAP Center’s evidence-based and family-focused approach to safety planning for reducing future suicide attempts: SAFETY-Acute (A). The podcast interview was produced by the Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center (EMSC) Innovation & Improvement Center as part of a new resource, Pediatric Education & Advocacy Kit (PEAK): Suicide. Interviewer Dr. Claudius is Chief of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine, a division specializing in pediatric emergency care and serving approximately 25,000 patients per year, including pediatric trauma patients.

Click this link to listen to the podcast and learn what to do after a positive screen for suicide risk.

Other resources available here.

Special issue of Evidence Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health focusing on “Quality Improvement for Acute Trauma–Informed Suicide Prevention Care”, Co-Editors: Drs. Joan R. Asarnow and David Goldston

Evidence Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (EBPCAMH) released a Special Issue co-edited by Drs. Joan R. Asarnow and David Goldston focusing on “Quality Improvement for Acute Trauma–Informed Suicide Prevention Care” for World Suicide Prevention Month: EBPCAMH, Volume 6, Issue 3 (2021). For more information, click the link to access the EBPCAMH Special Issue:

New Fireside Chat Webinar on Youth Suicide Prevention with Expert Leaders: Drs. Kelly Koerner, Cheryl King, Elizabeth A. McCauley, and Joan Asarnow

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youths ages 15-24 in the United States (U.S.). Moreover, suicide rates have increased substantially among high school students in the past 10 years, underscoring a strong need for improving youth mental health care and suicide prevention. Jaspr Health CEO and suicide expert leader, Dr. Kelly Koerner, hosted a fireside chat on youth suicide prevention featuring Drs. Cheryl King, Elizabeth A. McCauley, and Joan Asarnow, our ASAP Center director. Speakers discuss youth suicide in the U.S., key treatment approaches and components for teens and their families, and emerging treatment innovations. Please click to watch the Fireside Chat webinar video.

NCTSN-Partnered Resource for Supporting Youth Conversations with Friends or Peers about Suicide and Self-Harm

The ASAP Center collaborated with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Youth Task Force to develop a partnered resource for youth suicide prevention. This 3-part resource* supports youth when talking with friends and peers about suicide and self-harm and engages youth in self-care when navigating these difficult conversations. ASAP’s psychologist, Dr. Lucas Zullo, led the ASAP partnership on this product.

Please click the following NCTSN links to learn more about each part:  

Talking About Suicide with Friends and Peers  

Words To Use When Talking About Suicide  

Taking Care of You  

*Developed for youths ages 12 and older.  

Just Released: Screenside Chats with Gabrielle Carlson, MD, President of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Gabrielle Carlson, MD, President of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), hosted our ASAP Center Co-Director, Dr. Joan Asarnow, PhD, on the AACAP Screenside Chats video podcast Episode 32 – “Protecting Our Kids: Keeping our Suicidal Youth Safe With a Mental Health Seatbelt”. Drs. Carlson and Asarnow discuss youth at risk for suicidal behaviors and an evidence-based intervention with effectiveness in emergency room (ER) settings. Dr. Asarnow describes our ASAP Center intervention, SAFETY-A, for youths with suicidal presentations in the ER. She emphasizes the importance of safety planning, lethal means counseling, follow-up contact, and linkage to evidence-based care following an ER visit for self-harm and suicide. Please visit the AACAP website to watch.

ASAP Center Team Approved for Collaborative Multi-site Comparative Effectiveness Trial

Exciting news! The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved funding for a large collaborative multi-site trial led by Center Co-Directors, Drs. Joan Asarnow at UCLA & David Goldston at Duke. The study will compare two evidence-based suicide and suicide attempt prevention strategies for youth presenting to emergency departments with suicidal episodes. Other participating sites are: Brown University Alpert School of Medicine, led by Drs. Anthony Spirito & Ivan Miller; University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare led by Drs. Brooks Keeshin & Tammer Attallah MBA, MSW; and Olive View-UCLA Medical Center led by Dr. Naser Ahmadi.

For more information, please read the press release.

New Grant from NIMH Awarded to David Goldston, Ph.D., to Develop New Approaches for Suicide Prevention for Youth Who Are in Juvenile Detention Settings

Rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors are higher among youth involved with juvenile justice, especially those in secure settings. Youth in such settings also have disproportionately high exposure to traumatic stress. However, there are few evidence-based, trauma-informed, brief intervention approaches for working with acutely suicidal young people who are incarcerated. In this three-year grant, we will partner with stakeholders in adapting the SAFETY-A intervention so it can be delivered by paraprofessional staff in secure facilities with youth at risk for suicide and evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and usefulness of this approach. Click here if you would like to learn more about SAFETY-A and our treatment programs.