This study will attempt to improve treatment adherence and reduce suicide risk among
adolescents who are at risk for attempting suicide.
Despite substantial knowledge about adolescent suicide risk factors, few studies have been
conducted to identify effective interventions for suicidal adolescents.
Youth-Nominated Support Team (YST) is an intervention designed to help suicidal adolescents
after hospitalization. It is a psychoeducational social network intervention that targets
poor treatment adherence and difficulties with social support. YST is designed to be a
supplement to traditional or usual treatments.
Participants are randomly assigned to receive either treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU plus
YST for 3 months. Adolescents who receive TAU plus YST nominate three or four adults from
their family, school, and community settings to function as support persons. The support
persons participate in a psychoeducation session that focuses on the adolescent's
psychiatric disorder(s), individualized treatment plan, importance of treatment adherence,
and suicide risk factors. They also maintain regular contact with the adolescent to support
treatment adherence and progress toward treatment goals. Adolescents have assessments at 6
weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Internalizing behavior problems, perceived social
support, treatment adherence, adaptive functioning, severity of depression and anxiety,
severity and frequency of suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts are assessed.
- Hospitalization in a participating psychiatric facility
- Suicidal ideation, intent, or attempt
- Severe physical or cognitive impairment that makes informed consent, nominations, or
participation in assessments impossible