youth advisory board
We rely on the lived expertise and experiences of the members of our youth advisory board to drive our action and efforts. The board is made up of youth ages 13-18 who exemplify leadership in mental health and suicide prevention roles and represent cities and schools from across the country.
The National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide (NCPYS), a program of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), is working to change how schools and communities address the issue of suicide among young people, by inviting you to take the lead. We recognize the need for student involvement and ideas in shaping the campaign against suicide. By engaging young adults and providing the facts, the NCPYS seeks not only to help those most at risk, but also to equip school communities with the skills they need to recognize warning signs, help friends in need, and know where to go for help.
U OK? is a fundraising and awareness model for youth across the country to raise awareness about and help prevent teen suicide. U OK?, a program of the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide (NCPYS), raises awareness of the problem of teen suicide, mobilizes high school students to become part of the solution and raises money for these activities. U OK? relies on high school students to design and implement their own fundraising and awareness campaigns which include an educational component provided by the NCPYS.
We would like to invite your school to participate in the U OK? Friends Ask! Suicide Prevention Program. Through partnership, we can ensure that your school is better equipped to stop this preventable tragedy. This program provides the knowledge and resources to strengthen and unite your school community. The U OK? Program allows you to become part of the solution.
Warning signs & risk factors
A Young Person is at Critical Risk of Suicide if He or She:
Threatens to hurt or kill him or herself; or talks of wanting to hurt or kill him or herself; and/or
Looks for ways to kill him or herself by seeking access to firearms, pills, or other means; and/or
Talks or writes about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary. If your friend somehow indicates or communicates suicidal thoughts, get help immediately from a mental health professional or a professional in a hospital emergency department, or call 9-1-1.
If a youth shows or expresses any of the following behaviors or symptoms, they may signal a suicidal crisis. An evaluation by a mental health professional is essential to rule out the possibility of suicide and/or to initiate appropriate treatment.
Feelings of Hopelessness
Anxiety, agitation, trouble sleeping or sleeping all of the time
Expressions of having no reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
Feelings of being trapped - like there's no way out
Increase alcohol and/or drug use
Withdrawal from friends, family, and community
Rage, uncontrolled anger, expressions of wanting or seeking revenge
Reckless behavior or more risky activities, seemingly without thinking
Dramatic mood changes
Giving away prized possessions
It is intolerable that so many youth die by suicide. In fact, each year in the US over 4,300 youth and young adults die by suicide. Suicide prevention can save lives. The American Association of Suicidology needs your help to expand the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide! Not enough is being done, and we plan to change that. Help to support suicide prevention by raising funds to further our work. Together we can make a difference.
Through fundraising and community service projects, many students - middle, high school, and college students - are raising funds for the NCPYS. Students are inventive and run a range of fundraising activities.