Preventing Suicides: Supporting the Teens in Your Life

9 15 22 TD Website Image

Aired on Thursday, September 15, 2022 

If you talk about suicide, will your teen be more likely to attempt to take their life? Research shows that talking about suicide actually reduces the likelihood that the person will make an attempt.

With suicide as the third-leading cause of death among youth age 15 to 24, suicide prevention is a topic that parents and guardians of teens can’t ignore. Although it may feel overwhelming, when you have knowledge and resources, you can play an essential role in preventing teen suicides.

Dr. Kiara Alvarez will share how parents and caring adults can identify warning signs of mental health crisis and suicide, communicate with teens about suicide prevention, and encourage teens to seek help.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, seek immediate help. Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Find more resources for getting help here.

This program is intended for parents, caregivers, family members, youth workers, and caring adults interested in learning about teen mental health, how to respond to a crisis, and suicide prevention.


George Harrington Trust

Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust

Rebecca Pomroy Foundation

Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation

Bennett Family Foundation

Thomas Anthony Pappas Charitable Foundation

John Donnelly Trust

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program


Kiara Alvarez headshot

Kiara Alvarez, PhD

Kiara Alvarez, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a licensed psychologist. She was formerly a member of the faculty of the Disparities Research Unit in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Her research and clinical work focus on improving child and adolescent behavioral health outcomes, with an emphasis on health equity. She has particular interests in the prevention of suicidal behavior, the integration of behavioral health care across clinical and community settings serving youth, and the mental health and well-being of Latinx and immigrant youth and their families. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the William T. Grant Foundation. Dr. Alvarez completed her psychology internship training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and received her doctorate from the APA-accredited School Psychology program at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds an EdM in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Literature from Harvard University.

Susan-Weinstein headshot

Susan Weinstein, JD

Susan Weinstein, JD, Co-Executive Director, has been primarily responsible for programs and finances at Families for Depression Awareness since 2012. Susan was diagnosed with depression in her teens and has drawn from her personal experiences to inform FFDA’s curriculum. She has worked in nonprofits and local government throughout her career, generally in a non-legal capacity. She holds several volunteer positions, including serving on the Executive Committee and as Governance Committee Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and holding a variety of elected and appointed seats in her town government since 1992. A native of South Florida, Susan is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Boston University School of Law.