Adolescent Suicide Prevention

Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH; Donald A. Cibula, PhD; Sally M. Sutphen, MSc, MPH
Date published
Jun, 2003
Last updated
31 Jan 2020


This case—prevention of adolescent suicide—is one of a series of teaching cases in the Case-Based Series in Population-Oriented Prevention (C-POP). It has been developed for use in medical school and residency prevention curricula. The complete set of cases is presented in this supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This teaching case examines the issue of prevention of adolescent and young adult suicide both at an individual and at a population or community level, using data from the Onondaga County Health Department. In the first section of the case, students are asked to determine whether five deaths related to falling or jumping at a local shopping mall should be considered to be suicidal deaths. Students then develop skills in the reporting as well as in the epidemiology of adolescent suicidal deaths in Onondaga County. As the case progresses, students analyze the results of a local surveillance study of suicidal attempts and ideation. The case concludes with students evaluating a hypothetical screening study intended to reduce the risk of suicidal death and discussing a research design to examine the effectiveness of this prevention strategy.

(Am J Prev Med 2003;24(4S):150–156) © 2003 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.