First Advisor

Tina Burdsall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and University Honors




Teenagers -- Suicidal behavior -- Diagnosis, Suicidal behavior -- Risk factors -- Testing, Hospitals -- Emergency services, Hotlines (Counseling) -- United States -- Attitudes, Crisis intervention (Mental health services), Suicide -- Prevention




While research supports that teenagers are at an elevated risk for suicide, services to prevent and treat suicidality often do not meet the needs of this population. This is especially true when considering youth who engage in psychiatric emergency treatment, given that the most likely predictor of suicide is a past suicide attempt. This thesis will review theoretical foundations of suicidality and connect those theories to the current literature surrounding specific risk factors for suicide for adolescents. An understanding of these theories and risk factors will then be used to propose a model for potential improvements in emergency room suicide screening and intervention for adolescents. This model includes universal screening for suicide risk, a renewed focus on follow-up care after ER intervention, and involvement of youth-centered crisis hotlines.


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