Dawn Doherty, Executive director  of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide and Samantha Parker, Director of Development spoke to us about the group's role in helping  to identify teens who are “at risk”  of  hurting themselves.  The group was formed in 2005  and offers two hours of training to teachers who are in a  good position to recognize the signs leading to  these acts.  It has also trained 350,000 teachers online and its free to all Lifelines curriculum has been published. There is also a 3-day program for training school staff.
The group seeks a stigma-free approach to mental health for teens and tries to help with transition between middle and high school.  It emphasizes that reaching out is  fine and  that young people should find a trusted adult when they are in need and it is okay not to be okay. The agency works with educators, parents and students to identify those who may be tempted to harm themselves with a set of facts to see the warning signs.  They work directly with teens, some who have substance abuse problems, and also partner with Monmouth and Ocean County youth agencies to teach coping skills to help kids be safe.  
The trusted adult that teens seek out should be nonjudgemental and not apply shame to the teen, only asking “What's going on with you.? “  That person would be able to give the teen some ideas where they can get help and lighten the burden , relieving some of the young person's worries.  Knowing the warning signs may help to lower the teen suicide rate, the second greatest cause of death for teens today.