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Youth Suicide Prevention

Youth suicide is the highest cause of death in teens, even higher than car accidents. Then when you factor in the recent COVID 19 pandemic and all of the isolation and decrease in social engagement, the rate of death by suicide has risen even more.

Communication, understanding and the power of listening are the strongest tools we can use against suicide. A trusted adult outside the home is critical to youth finding answers and relieving some of their fears and anxieties. It is important for parents and guardians to interact with their children, but many youth may feel more comfortable talking to a trusted adult such as, a teacher, a coach, or a minister. 

Here you can find tips for talking with youth. And resources for youth, so they can find answers or a really trusted ear to talk to. The Child and Adolescent Health department have adapted the “#BeThe1To” model for action on suicide prevention. There are 5 action steps in this model that help guide youth and advisors alike on how to open communications and to recognize the signs of a youth at risk.

Transition Readiness is a time for the adolescent to begin to assume more responsibility on an active basis and to the best of their ability. During this time parents and healthcare providers can support and encourage the transition to adult health care by following the steps listed below.

1. Making Health a Priority

  • Empower and prepare youth by helping them learn about health and how to maintain health by living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Discuss the importance of preventive healthcare by getting regular check-ups, wellness exams, screenings, and vaccinations

2. Understanding Health Coverage

  • Health Coverage or Insurance pays for provider services, medications, hospital care, medical equipment, preventive care, vaccinations, and annual or wellness exams. 
  • Options for health insurance depend on multiple factors including age, state, income, employment status, & other individual circumstances.
  • Health coverage costs that one is responsible for include premiums, co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance.

3. Finding a Primary Care Provider (PCP)

  • Primary Care Providers (PCPs) include doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, family physicians, etc. PCPs are vital in preventing, maintaining, and managing one’s health. 
  • Discuss and collaborate with current pediatrician, family, and friends to help find an appropriate adult provider. 
  • Check with health plan to see if the provider is in-network.

4. Scheduling an Appointment

  • Call PCPs office to schedule appointment as a new patient to establish care. 
  • Be prepared to provide name, date of birth, reason for visit, and health coverage information. 
  • Complete any forms/paperwork online before visit or arrive early for your first appointment.

5. Preparing for the Visit

  • Bring photo identification (driver’s license, passport, government or school ID) and health insurance card. 
  • Learn about your health history, which includes family, medical, and surgical history.
  • Write down and questions you want to ask your PCP, so you don’t forget during the visit.

Contact Information

Megan Sylvester, BS Health Education
School Health Consultant
Phone: (405) 426-8106

Mailing Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Child and Adolescent Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK

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