A Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center program has proved effective in helping teens overcome depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a study to be published in the September edition of the Journal of School Health.

The study suggests the program, called Surviving the Teens, helped participants learn how to cope with stress and depression, showed them how to look for warning signs for suicide and taught them ways to talk to parents and peers about what they were going through.

According to a release from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the study shows teens were significantly less likely to be considering suicide, planning suicide or to have attempted suicide than before they participated in the program. Surviving the Teens is one of the only suicide prevention programs to have statistical evidence supporting it.

Based on comparisons of a survey taken by the teens three months after the program with a survey taken as a pre-test:


  • Students who reported considering suicide decreased 65 percent, from 4.2 percent of students to 1.5 percent.
  • Students who reported planning to attempt suicide decreased 48 percent, from 9.9 percent of students to 5.2 percent.
  • Students who reported having attempted suicide decreased 67 percent, from 5.2 percent of students to 1.7 percent.
  • Students who reported feeling sad and hopeless decreased 26 percent, from 22.6 percent of students to 16.8 percent.
  • Nearly 72 percent of students intended to talk more to their parents about their problems, nearly 81 percent intended to talk to their friends more about their problems, and nearly 90 percent intended to encourage their friends to talk more to them about their problems.
  • Students’ knowledge of depression risk factors suicide risk factors, and suicide warning signs increased significantly.
  • Students’ intent to seek help when suicidal increased.

Suicide ranks as the third most common cause of death for teens in the United States. In a composite ranking by Mental Health America of the most depressed states in the country, Ohio was ranked 43rd. In a state ranking of suicide rates, Ohio was 22nd.