Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital in Chattanooga, TN, is proud to support The Jason Foundation’s effort to combat the silent epidemic of youth suicide. Together, we’re dedicated to sharing information and empowering individuals throughout Tennessee to recognize the signs of youth suicide and intervene to protect children and adolescents who are at risk for ending their own lives.
Leading the national effort to end youth suicide
The Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending what its founder Clark Flatt refers to as “the silent epidemic” of youth suicide. Clark Flatt established JFI in 1997 following the death of his 16-year-old son, Jason. JFI’s headquarters are in Hendersonville, Tennessee, but the organization has affiliates and partners throughout the United States.
Empowering children, adolescents, and adults to prevent youth suicide
To protect young people from suicide, The Jason Foundation works to increase awareness and develop essential skills among students, parents, teachers, coaches, clergy, youth workers, and others who are involved in the lives of young people. The foundation’s initiatives include the following:
- Establishing a curriculum unit for students
- Developing a variety of in-person and online training programs for teachers, coaches, and other adults
- Creating the “A Friend Asks” smartphone app to educate individuals about suicide warning signs and appropriate responses
- Partnering with country music band Rascal Flatts to promote “The B1 Pledge,” which prepares people to identify and act upon signs that indicate that a young person may be at risk for suicide
- Working with state legislatures to pass The Jason Flatt Act, which mandates suicide prevention training for teachers
The Jason Foundation has made great progress. For example, since 2001, when Tennessee became the first state to pass The Jason Flatt Act, 19 additional states have also done so. In all of these states, the provisions of the legislation were supported by each state’s department of education and teachers’ association.
Statistics about youth suicide in Tennessee
However, much work remains to be done in the effort to eliminate the risk of suicide among children and adolescents. The following statistics from the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network document the prevalence of youth suicide in Tennessee:
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among adolescents ages 10-14 in Tennessee.
- Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults ages 15-24 in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS) has reported the following statistics about the suicide risk among high school students in the state:
- More than 16% of high school students (grades 9-12) in Tennessee have considered suicide at least once in the past 12 months.
- About 13% of Tennessee high school students have planned how they would attempt to end their own lives.
- About 8% of Tennessee high school students told researchers that they have attempted suicide at least once in the previous year.
Our partnership with The Jason Foundation
Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital in Chattanooga, TN, is a proud affiliate of The Jason Foundation. As part of this partnership, we offer suicide prevention training materials free of charge to individuals, schools, and communities throughout Tennessee.
To learn more about how you, your family, or your organization can join the effort to end youth suicide in Tennessee, please contact us at your convenience. For more about The Jason Foundation, visit www.jasonfoundation.com.