Interrupting Teen Suicide at the Gates of Primary Care

IAFP Suicide Prevention Screening and Referral Project

According to the CDC, suicide is a top cause of death among teens and young adults in Idaho. Between 2014-2018, 125 Idaho school-aged children (6-18 years old) died by suicide; 31 of those deaths were among children ages 14 or younger. We want to change those alarming statistics.

The Idaho Academy of Family Physicians received a grant for a Community Engaged Lifestyle Medicine Project. For this project, we designed an intervention to help integrate mental health and suicide prevention screenings into members’ regular interactions with patients.

This project focused on suicide prevention for youth in rural Idaho, especially LGBTQ+, Native, and Latinx youth. While the intervention targeted special youth populations, the resources support mental health care for all members of your patient population.

We worked in three target communities, Burley, Emmett and Mountain Home, to develop a deliberate suicide screening and referral program.

Cohort Participants

Dr. Brian Muir (Burley), Dr. Michael Claussen (Emmett), and Dr. Nicole Aker (Mountain Home) were the pilot physicians for this project. Dr. Keith Davis (Shoshone), Dr. Cher Jacobsen (Post Falls), and Dr. Suzanne Allen (Boise) were the board participants.

The intervention Included:

  • Education for physicians in the pilot communities
  • Education for the IAFP Board of Directors and general membership
  • Development of recommended tools for screening and resources for physicians and patients
  • Connecting pilot communities with information about behavioral health services, including telehealth
  • Evaluation of impacts of the pilot on participating physicians and patient population

Resource Guides

We developed the packets below for physicians, youth and their families. You will find links to tools and resources for screening tools, safety plans, treatment programs, Idaho specific resources, education and trainings, lifestyle medicine and more.

Physician Resource Guide

Patient & Family Resource Guide

Local Resources

We want to thank the AAFP, the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, and the Ardmore Institute of Health for their generous support of this project.