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Children's mental health preventing suicide

In 2012, suicide in Minnesota was among the top five leading causes of death for 10- to 65-year-olds. According to the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey:

  • 12 percent of Minnesota's 9th grade students in public schools reported having serious suicidal thoughts in the past year
DHS partners with the Minnesota Department of Health to promote mental health among children and youth and prevent suicide. These efforts include educating providers and the public to recognize as early as possible the warning signs and risk factors associated with suicide. Grant funding supports delivering education and awareness programs as well as developing suicide prevention policies and protocols. In addition to focusing on early identification in this area, DHS coordinates Children's Mental Health Crisis Response Services Grants to build the capacity within counties to respond to children and youths' crises.

TXT4Life is a text message suicide prevention program that allows Minnesotans to text "Life" to 61222 to receive crisis counseling and connections to local community resources. This text service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The U.S. Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Suicide, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and the Minnesota State Suicide Prevention Plan promote goals and objectives in youth suicide prevention, including:

  • Increase public awareness and knowledge regarding the extent and warning signs of suicide and symptoms and the treatability of depression, other mental disorders, and substance abuse
  • Increase training to people who regularly come into contact with youth regarding at-risk behavior and referral to effective treatment
  • Increase availability and access to mental health services
  • Reduce access to suicide methods among youth exhibiting suicide warning signs
  • Increase opportunities for youth at risk to strengthen social networks and social competencies (coping, conflict management, help-seeking, etc.) Increase environments that reduce stigma associated with suicide and mental disorders and that promote help-seeking

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