The Youth Suicide Prevention Project is a peer-led program that aims to integrate and amplify the impact of evidence-based strategies to positively influence youth mental health and reduce youth suicide in Seattle. Responsive to data on disproportionate rates of suicide and mental health access for young males of color, teenage Youth Organizers of Mental Health Education (YOMHEs) design and deliver an interactive mental health curriculum focused on peer norms, and gatekeeper and crisis intervention training. They reach their target audience through schools, community centers, and other community-based safe spaces for teens. Since the project’s inception in July 2017, the YOMHEs have reached over 1,600 youth and 200 adults through in-person presentations and workshops. A partnership between the City of Seattle and Public Health—Seattle & King County, the project is funded by Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools.
Watch this video to learn how to recognize signs of suicide and how to connect your peers to mental health services like school-based health centers.
The YOMHEs offer the following for youth audiences in Seattle:
- Brief presentations (at their home site or at community facilities)
In-person presentation shared in community settings to youth age 10-24 focusing on reducing mental health stigma, promoting positive social norms around discussing mental health, and raising awareness of accessible mental health services including SBHCs.
- Half-day workshops (at their home site or at community facilities)
In-person workshop expanding on the 45 Minute Presentation by incorporating deeper conversation and more interactive activities to engage participants and reinforce concepts.
- Classroom curriculum
A written lesson plan adapted from the 45 Minute Presentation packaged and shortened for educators to use in their classrooms.
Mental Breakers is a podcast led by the YOMHEs, tackling the subjects of suicide prevention and mental health. This podcast explores both of these topics by providing listeners with a balance of personal stories and facts directly from the YOMHEs in an attempt to connect with the listeners whilst educating them about the lives that youth lead and the complexities that come with being a youth/young adult of color in this ever changing world.
- Printed materials
A printed resource card and ‘zine targeted at youth age 10-24 with a list of vetted youth-focused mental health and suicide prevention resources.
Learn more about the history of the program by watching this “Lunch & Learn” recorded in August 2020.
Want to learn more or schedule with the YOMHEs?
Listen to our podcast “Mental Breaker” on your favorite podcast app!
- Season 1 Intro
- Season 1, Episode 1
- Season 1, Episode 2
- Season 1, Episode 3
- Season 2, Episode 1: Messiah
- Season 2, Episode 2: Melrose
- Season 2, Episode 3: Marcel
- Season 2, Episode 4: Jazz
- Season 2, Episode 5: Gustavo
- Season 2, Episode 6: Ellen
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – This a toll-free number (1-800-273-8255) that you can call 24 hours a day. This is our most recommended resource, and it is suited for anybody.
- YOMHE – We are a resource! Feel free to talk to us if you need help or if you know somebody who needs help and you don’t know exactly what to do. You can reach us at @_YOMHE on Instagram.
- Trevor Project – This is a resource primarily for people from the LGTBQ community. The website is a hub for resources for various different concerns or issues that people might be facing.
- Forefront – This is a group out of the University of Washington that delivers workshops and presentations around suicide prevention and promoting positive mental health.
- School-Based Health Centers – These are medical facilities that provide no-cost resources to students. At these centers you can get vaccinations, STI testing, birth control, counseling, physicals, and many other health services. Many, but not all, schools have these centers.
- Teen Link – They are a program of Crisis Connections that is specifically targeted towards youth. They have a phone number (1-866-TEENLINK/1-866-833-6546) that you can call or text to support you. Teens will be able to chat with you on the phone from 6PM – 10PM or via text from 6PM – 9:30PM.
YOMHEs in the Spotlight
- YOMHEs Partner with Soar
- Local youth leaders receive grants to drive mental health and well-being innovation and transformation in King County
- Teens Help Their Peers Build Resiliency in Seattle Public Schools
- THANK YOU to Our Summer Internship Partners!
- Welcome Public Health’s Summer Interns!