CE Credit

Youth Suicide: Addressing Risks, Plans and Behaviors

Welcome to the training on Youth Suicide: Addressing Risks, Plans and Behaviors provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Credit hours: 1.50 CE


The goal of this module is to support Texas Health Steps providers and others in using a team approach to address the challenge of youth suicide. Providers will learn about screening to identify youth with suicide risk factors; addressing suicidal plans and behaviors; and providing appropriate referrals, ongoing care, and care coordination in a primary care setting.

Target Audience

Texas Health Steps providers and other interested health-care professionals.

Specific Learning Objectives

After completing the activities of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Summarize risk factors and warning signs of suicide in youth.
  2. Apply current recommendations to screen all youth for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  3. Examine the role of the medical home in the treatment and ongoing management of care for youth at risk for suicide.
  4. Formulate a care workflow for youth at risk for suicide in specific office and community settings.
  5. Apply suggestions for provider self-care in potentially challenging patient situations with youth at risk for suicide.

Note: In this module, the term “parent” also refers to guardians and caregivers. The term “supportive adult” refers to those same individuals plus other important people in the adolescent’s life. The terms “adolescent” and “youth” are used interchangeably in the module to refer to individuals ages 10 through 24 years. Resources listed throughout the module can be accessed through the Appendix on this page.

Please note this module expires on 5/20/2023.

This module was released on 5/20/2020.

Accreditation Statement


Browser Requirements

Celia Neavel, MD, is director of the Center for Adolescent Health and the GOALS (Generating Outcomes and Liaisons for Students) program at People's Community Clinic, Austin.

Texas Suicide Prevention Initiatives and Resources

Mental Health Screening Tools

Psychosocial Screening Tool

  • HEEADSSS 3.0 psychosocial interview for adolescents from Contemporary Pediatrics

Maternal Postpartum Depression Screening Tools

National Resources

Crisis Hotlines, Textlines, and Chats

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line provides free 24/7 crisis support and trains volunteers to support people in crisis

  • Text: TX to 741741 for free 24/7 crisis support in the U.S.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)

Support for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: 800-799-4889

La Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 888-628-9454

The Trevor Project, a leading national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people 24 years and younger.

  • Call: 866-488-7386
  • Text: START to 678678

Veterans Crisis Line: Call 800-273-8255, and press 1

Help Outside the United States

To find a suicide helpline outside the United States, contact Suicide.org for International Suicide Hotlines.

Education and Training

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has local chapters throughout Texas that can deliver education programs to schools, workplaces, and communities.
  • Columbia Lighthouse Project, affiliated with Columbia University, offers a website that discusses use of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), an evidence-based tool that anyone can use to assess suicide risk and next steps.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Texas), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Local NAMI chapters can deliver education programs to communities.
  • The Joint Commission. (2019). R3 Report: Requirement, Rationale, Reference.

Safety Planning

The medical definitions in this module were obtained or adapted from Contagion of Violence: Workshop Summary, Evidence-Based Mental Health, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Psychology Today, and WebMD.