Suicide Prevention Press Release – February 9, 2018

In Orange County, there have been 3 teen suicides within the past 3 weeks. These suicides have received much attention on social media, as the teens were all high-achieving, successful students and student-athletes. The suicides were unexpected, and the youth apparently did not display typical signs indicating risk of suicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics – Orange County Chapter, in collaboration with local sport psychologist, Casey Cooper, Ph.D. came together to develop a public statement addressing the concerns parents may have, and providing the following insights:

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 -24.
  • The face of suicide is changing.  The rate of suicide is increasing in Orange County and all teenagers are at risk, including those high achieving students, athletes, and artists.
  • Teens at risk for attempting suicide cannot always be identified in a single screening.
  • Due to the impulsive nature of teens, their age group is at higher risk to make sudden attempts on their lives, seemingly without warning.
  • There is NO singular cause or preventative measure that could have been taken to prevent these recent tragedies.
Moving forward, the AAP-OC Chapter will be focusing on the issue of youth suicide and exploring opportunities to continue this discussion with professionals and community member.

In addition to our public statement, we also want to provide our clinicians with some resources to help you and your families identify teens at risk, and provide resources to help support them. Please click on the resources below, visit the AAP-OC Chapter, Mental Health Initiatives page on our website AAP-OC Chapter – Mental Health, or contact the chapter at (949) 752-2787 or for more information.

Official Suicide Prevention Press Statement Feb. 9 2018


AAP-OC Chapter: Suicide Prevention Tool for Primary Care Providers
Foundation to Prevent Teen Suicide: Suicide “FACTS” Flyer
With Hope Foundation (714) 524-1996:
Suicide Prevention Resource Center:
Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide:

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

Greater Orange County CHADD Chapter #455 provides FREE Support Group Meetings for parents, adults, teens, kids, professionals, and educators who have or deal with someone with ADHD. We are volunteers who serve people throughout Orange County, California on behalf of our national organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).

Founded in 1987, CHADD has local support group meetings, moderated meetings and EXPERT EDUCATIONAL MEETINGS throughout the U.S. Each group offers programming or information specific to their geographic area.

Greater OC CHADD Chapter offers four different monthly meetings for anyone wanting to learn more about ADHD and network with others for support, General, Adult, Spanish, Parent. Best of all, the meetings are NO COST. You do not have to be a member of CHADD to attend. See our local Chapter’s website to learn more or visit the National CHADD website is

Resources for Suicide Prevention

After A Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools
A toolkit by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention/Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) that consists of recommendations by national experts, school-based personnel, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals on how to address the aftermath of a suicide.

Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Schools
This toolkit addresses suicide prevention and responses to suicidal behaviors in three irrevocably interconnected and interdependent areas: 1. Promotion of mental and physical health and well-being 2. Intervention in a suicidal crisis 3. Postvention response to a suicidal death.

Foster Parents Preventing Suicide
An article by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) that explains ways that foster parents can identify at-risk youth, intervene, and get the youth connected to help.

Know the Signs
Know the Signs is a statewide suicide prevention social marketing campaign built on three key messages: Know the signs. Find the words. Reach out. This campaign is intended to educate Californians how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, how to find the words to have a direct conversation with someone in crisis and where to find professional help and resources.

Model School Policy on Suicide Prevention: Model Language, Commentary, & Resources
This document outlines model policies and best practices for school districts to follow to protect the health and safety of all students. As suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 10-19, it is critically important that school districts have policies and procedures in place to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to youth suicidal behavior.  Here’s a one-page fact sheet about the policy. Click link above for the complete policy document.

Preventing Adolescent Suicide: What You Need to Know
Presentation slides from the January 9, 2014 training presented by Didi Hirsch Agency at Orange County Dept. of Education.

Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
A toolkit by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that consists of strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among students.

Web Resources on Self-Injury
The L.A. County Youth Suicide Prevention Project has a whole page of web-based resources on self-injurious behavior including cutting. One web resource cited is Educators and Self-Injury and it provides information on how to recognize, understand, and respond to self-injury.

Teen Suicide, Mood Disorder, and Depression
An article that explains causes and warning signs for suicide, facts and myths associated with suicide, and what you can do to reduce the risk of suicide in teens.

The Role of First Responders in Preventing Suicide
An article by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) discussing how to recognize warning signs of suicide, how to help suicide attempters and survivors, and also to how​ to help yourself and your fellow first responders.

Youth Suicide Prevention Project
This website has been especially developed for the 80 school districts within Los Angeles County, to provide administrators, staff, parents, and students with the most up-to-date information about the prevention, intervention, and postvention of suicide among our youth.

Preparing for Policy Change Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention

Primary care physicians play a critical role in meeting children’s mental health needs through the early identification of risk factors and emerging mental health concerns.

AAP-OC has played a role in supporting these needs by identifying community resources and referral options for physicians to access. Early identification is promoted through assessment and evaluation of the child in the medical home setting and provides timely intervention to meet the mental health needs of the family. Collaborative relationships with mental health specialists and community resources will promote the delivery of these mental health services for families.

The opportunity to decrease the barriers that exist for physicians and improve communication between the medical community and the mental health resources has been an important objective for the Chapter, and utilization of these resources will support the mental health needs of children and families in our community.

AAP-OC’s Mental Health Committee works collaboratively with community partners to identify resources to enable pediatricians to meet the needs of families with mental health concerns.

Children at Risk (PDF) – By Stephanie Watson