Immediate Post Intervention Effects of Two Brief Youth Suicide Prevention Interventions


  • This research was supported by grants R01 NR 03548 and R01 NR 03550 from the National Institute on Nursing Research. The authors acknowledge and express their appreciation for the many students and parents/guardians whose participation in this study enriched their understanding of youth suicide potential. They are also grateful to the C-CARE intervention specialists and CAST group leaders who implemented the interventions, as well as the many school nurses, counselors, and teachers who reached out to the students participants, making them feel more supported, self-competent, and less vulnerable. The care and concern of these individuals helped the youths and demonstrated that prevention can work to decrease youth suicide potential.

Reconnecting Youth Prevention Research Program, Psychosocial and Community Health, Box 357263, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA 98195; phone: (206) 543–4418; E-mail:


This study evaluated the immediate postintervention effects of two brief suicide prevention protocols: a brief interview—Counselors CARE (C-CARE)—and C-CARE plus a 12-session Coping and Support Training (CAST) peer-group intervention. Subjects were students “at risk” of high school dropout and suicide potential in Grades 9–12 from seven high schools (N = 341). Students were assigned randomly to C-CARE plus CAST, C-CARE only, or “intervention as usual.” The predicted patterns of change were assessed using trend analyses on data available from three repeated measures. C-CARE and CAST led to increases in personal control, problem-solving coping, and perceived family support. Both C-CARE plus CAST and C-CARE only led to decreases in depression, and to enhanced self-esteem and family goals met. All three groups showed equivalent decreases in suicide risk behaviors, anger control problems, and family distress.