Level of Education

Faculty Member/PhD Completed


In this evaluative review, the problems of teen suicide and teen suicide prevention strategies are explored. Specific statistical and policy examples are cited from Colorado to highlight the critical nature of these issues in a state with the ninth highest suicide rate in the nation (CDC, 2018a). The most obvious, and perhaps most critical problem with said strategies are that they do not account for dramatic changes to teen life that have occurred in the last ten years, notably, since cell phones and online connection has become nearly ubiquitous. Current prevention programs rely on outdated information, subjectively use the label “evidence-based”, and are rarely evaluated in an effective or rigorous manner. Those programs that have been evaluated, are failing to show any connection to the strategies used, or a reduction in actual suicide attempts. This article evaluates the following: the current problem of teen suicide in the U.S., what critical changes have taken place in the last ten years that could be having a significant effect on suicidal ideation in teens, and how current prevention strategies are likely falling short and could do better.