Adolescent Suicide Prevention via Parental Education

Date of Publication


Project Team

Dr. Mary Val Palumbo, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC; Melissa Farr, MSW


Purpose. Up to 24% of children from the ages of 12 to 17 have reported suicidal ideation, with 7-11% reporting at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months (Hetrick, 2017). In a study by Jones et al (2019) over 50% of parents were unaware their child was exhibiting suicidal ideation. This project aims to increase community awareness of suicidal ideation and teach community members how to talk with adolescents about this sensitive topic.

Methods. Five online training sessions were offered in Fall 2021, with each session lasting 90 minutes. Using Smith et al.’s Suicide Knowledge and Skills Questionnaire, participants’ knowledge and skills were measured pre-training, immediately post-training, and one month after training using two online surveys.

Results. Fifteen participants took the Umatter Suicide Awareness training. Knowledge about suicide increased both immediately after training and one month after training compared to pre-training. Skills measured included the participant’s confidence in having received the training, skills, and support needed to assist those with suicidal intent. Skills decreased one month after training compared to immediate post-training, but still remained higher than pre-training levels.

Conclusions. Participants showed an increase in their knowledge regarding suicide, and in their skills with interacting with those who show warning signs of suicidal ideation. Umatter shows promise as an online suicide awareness program for teaching community members about suicidality in adolescents. Given the ease of use of this program, advanced practice nurses could easily incorporate parts of this program into their practice with their patients.

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