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Youth Suicide Prevention in Georgia

Georgia's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillace helps us to understand the crisis of youth suicidal behavior in Georgia.  And now the Georgia Student Survey 2.  

For more information about this, CLICK HERE



Youth Suicide Prevention Project

In October of 2008, we were awarded the Garrett Lee Smith Federal Grant for Youth Suicide Prevention from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This provided the state of Georgia's Suicide Prevention Program $1.5 million ($500,000 for three years) to bring proposed services to Georgia.


THE STATE NO LONGER HAS THIS GRANT, but the projects was highly successful, contact the Suicide Prevention Program staff to get more info on the evaluation, outcomes, Sources of Strength program information and how you could bring this program to your schools.


Progress of Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Project

$500,000 per year for 3 years - 3rd year ends 9/29/11

Targeting youth age 10-24 in Cobb, Gwinnett, Houston, Emmanuel and Habersham Counties including high risk populations such as Latinos, LGBTQ, Juvenile Justice, active military and veterans

Models used: •    developing and supporting a local suicide prevention coalition • training school staff to identify and refer at-risk youth using the Question, Persuade and Refer training program •    changing school culture to improve communication and trust between youth and safe adults through a peer leader program called Sources of Strength •    developing and training a local referral network of mental health professionals who can work with at-risk youth using best practices •    training hospital emergency room personnel and crisis teams on counseling families in restricting access to lethal means

Numbers served to date: •    Sources of Strength teams in 10 HS, 3 MS, 1 College, Latino, LGBTQ •    Over 850 Adults trained as gatekeepers •    Over 600 youth trained as peer leaders •    Over 1000 trusted adults named •    Over 500 professionals trained

After 3 months in Sources of Strength 88 MS and HS students completed follow-up surveys indicating that: •    99% beleieved there was an adult at school that can be trusted to help suicidal students (up from 83%) •    98% would tell an adult about a suicidal friend even if asked to keep it secret (up from 88%) •    74% would go to an adult at school if they had a problem (up from 64%)

Comparing the Department of Education Student Health Surveys for the Middle Schools in Houston and Emanuel Counties that have Sources of Strength Teams (3 schools, 750 students sampled) with those that don't (7 schools, 2300 students sampled) after implementing the program: •    The schools that have sources of strength programs decreased the number of students reporting they have seriously considered suicide in the past year by 42% compared to an 8% decrease in the schools without the program. •    Students in the schools that have the program self-report a 21% drop in annual suicide attempts compared to a 16% drop in schools without Sources of Strength.

Featured on Atlanta National Public Radio and CNN-espanol

To see the Sources of Strength PSA Contest Winners:  CLICK HERE 

Currently we are in our second phase of the Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grant

We were awarded our second grant in August of 2012, to run for a second 3 year period.

We have a new Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator who is in charge of the GLS Grant.  For any questions or information about the GLS Youth Suicide Prevntion Project, contact Michelle Zelaya at

Sources of Strength is a copyrighted program in the Best Practices Registry.  For more information about the program, CLICK HERE

and for more information about how you can bring Sources of Strength into your school contact Michele Zelaya.