Online Suicide Prevention Programs

Online Suicide Prevention Programs

According to the American Psychological Association (2016), suicide is defined as the act of killing oneself, most often as a result of depression or other mental illnesses. In 2013, suicide was defined as the second-leading cause of death in youth ages 15 to 24 (Matsubayashi & Ueda, 2011). Due to this rise in suicide rate, specifically for adolescents and young adults, it is pertinent that national suicide prevention programs be effectively integrated to reduce these rates. Online prevention programs are easy to implement, low-cost, and highly effective at reaching target youth populations. is one easy-to-use platform that can deliver these prevention programs effectively.

Below you will find a list of effective suicide prevention programs that can be delivered to students online via CertCentral.

Effective Prevention Programs Aimed at Decreasing Suicide Rates

1. Teens® Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness Program

  • This intervention, consisted of four sessions that were 50 minutes each (King, Strunk, & Sorter, 2011). Some of the goals of the Teens® Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness Program include: (a) decreasing stigma around mental disorders that may be a barrier to providing help to those at-risk for committing suicide, (b) increasing students' knowledge of depression symptoms, depression risk factors, suicidal risk factors, and suicidal warning signs, (c) improving students' coping skills, help-seeking behaviors, and self-efficacy, (d) increasing family and school connectedness, and (e) decreasing suicidal and other risk-taking behaviors, such as substance use (King et al., 2011).
  • Each of the goals of this program can be separated into different course modules so that students are not overwhelmed by all of this information at once. Each module can be followed by test questions that measure student comprehension of program materials.
  • Students were significantly less likely to be currently considering suicide, less likely to have made a suicidal plan or attempted suicide, and significantly less likely to engage in maladaptive activities due to hopelessness (King et al., 2011).

2. Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Youth Suicide Prevention Program

  • This intervention involved training gatekeepers to identify those at-risk for suicide and appropriately refer them to services that can help (Walrath, Garraza, Reid, Goldston, & McKeon, 2015).
  • This program can be delivered online to gatekeepers: school staff, teachers, orientation leaders, and the like.
  • Counties that implemented the GLS Youth Suicide Prevention Program had significantly lower suicide rates the year after training than counties that did not implement the program (Walrath et al., 2015).

3. Promoting CARE program

  • Researchers Hooven, Herting, and Snedker (2010) designed this intervention to increase youth motivation to change their negative cognitions, and increase youth social support access and self-efficacy.
  • This intervention decreased suicide risk 6 years after its implementation. These findings show that secondary prevention programs aimed at stopping suicide ideation and behavior can also be effective in having long-term, positive health outcomes (Hooven et al., 2010).


American Psychological Association. (2016). Teen suicide is preventable. Retrieved from

Hooven, C., Herting, J. R., & Snedker K. A. (2010). Long-term outcomes for the promoting

CARE suicide prevention program. American Journal of Health Behavior, 34, 721-736. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.34.6.8

King, K. A., Strunk, C. M., Sorter, M. T. (2011). Preliminary effectiveness of surviving the

teens® suicide prevention and depression awareness program on adolescents' suicidality and self-efficacy in performing help-seeking behaviors. The Journal of School Health, 81, 581-590. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00630.x

Matsubayashi, T. & Ueda, M. (2011). The effect of national suicide prevention programs on

suicide rates in 21 OECD nations. Social Science & Medicine, 9, 1395-1400. doi:


Walrath, C., Garraza, L. G., Reid, H., Goldston, D. B., & McKeon, R. (2015). Impact of the

Garrett Lee Smith youth suicide prevention program on suicide mortality. American

Journal of Public Health, 105, 986-993. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302496

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