Portland Public Schools aimed to demonstrate a multifaceted, evidence-based, and collaborative suicide prevention model targeted to adolescents in grades 9-11 with a history of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse. Each year the project served approximately 70 high school girls and 10 high school boys. A control group of similar size was established for evaluation purposes during the second year of the project. The NPC Research evaluation plan examined key components of the program, including the effectiveness of the Advisory Board, program implementation, and outcomes achieved by the program. Among other outcomes, the evaluation of youth participants looked for decreases in depression over time and decreases in suicidal ideation for the program group, as well as lower depression and lower suicidal ideation in the program group compared to the control group. Additional outcome objectives for the program group over time included decreased involvement in risky behaviors, higher self-esteem ratings, and improved school attendance.
Judy Weller, B.S.