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Adolescent Suicide Prevention


This teaching case examines the issue of prevention of adolescent and young adult suicide both at an individual and at a population or community level, using data from the Onondaga County Health Department.

In the first section of the case, students are asked to determine whether five deaths related to falling or jumping at a local shopping mall should be considered to be suicidal deaths. Students then develop skills in the reporting as well as in the epidemiology of adolescent suicidal deaths in Onondaga County.

As the case progresses, students analyze the results of a local surveillance study of suicidal attempts and ideation. The case concludes with students evaluating a hypothetical screening study intended to reduce the risk of suicidal death and discussing a research design to examine the effectiveness of this prevention strategy.


  • Apply the agent/host/environment model in understanding disease causation
  • Define epidemic
  • Identify common factors in incident cases
  • Identify risk factors for tuberculosis, including TB/HIV connection
  • Evaluate methods for population-based prevention, including contact investigations/other interventions (legal)
  • Develop skills in outreach follow-up in a hard-to-reach group
  • Formulate public health policies regarding tuberculosis