Youth Suicide Prevention

The Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program (MYSPP) is coordinated by the Intentional Injury Prevention Program Manager in the Maine Injury Prevention Program, Division of Family Health, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vision: All Maine Youth Will Be Safe From Self-Harm


  • Increase public awareness about suicide prevention
  • Reduce the incidence of suicide behavior among Maine youth aged 10-24, and
  • Improve youth access to appropriate prevention and intervention services.

high school kidThe Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program (MYSPP) is a collaborative initiative among the agencies of the Maine Children’s Cabinet, chaired by First Lady Karen Baldacci and composed of the Commissioners and Senior Staff from the Departments of Human Services; Education; Behavioral and Developmental Services; Corrections; Labor; and Public Safety.

The MYSPP recommends a comprehensive and coordinated approach to suicide prevention. Program strategies reach the general public and individuals in direct contact with youth.

A primary guiding principle of the MYSPP is that it is essential to train adults in specific suicide prevention knowledge and skills before teaching youth about suicide prevention. This is necessary so that, when youth seek help from adults, the adults are trained to respond effectively and are familiar with referral procedures and available helping resources.

Components of the Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program include:

  • Statewide Crisis Hotline 1-888-568-1112
  • A statewide crisis hotline connects callers to the crisis service provider in the area from which they are calling. This line is for ALL individuals in crisis to provide immediate, local assistance in any crisis situation.
  • Statewide Information Resource Center (IRC) 1-800-499-0027

The Office of Substance Abuse Information Resource Center in the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services has a wide selection of suicide prevention informational materials for adults and teens. Resources include print and audio/visual educational materials, Maine and national data, & other informational materials.

Also, visit the MYSPP Website:

  • Guidelines for School-based Suicide Prevention, Crisis Intervention, and Postvention Protocols

Careful, advanced planning is crucial to preventing suicide, managing a crisis, and preventing additional crises in the school setting. School Administrative Unit (SAU) administrators and their Crisis Intervention Teams have an essential role to play to assist youth in crisis while maintaining control of the learning environment. MYSPP guidelines to help school administrators establish crisis intervention and suicide prevention procedures are available on the program website.

  • Gatekeeper Training: Gatekeeper Training is a daylong basic introduction to suicide prevention that builds intervention skills. Participants learn how to recognize suicidal behavior, how to respond and where to find help.
  • Training of Trainers : This four-hour program teaches individuals, who have a basic suicide prevention background, how to facilitate a 60-90 minute suicide prevention awareness session.
  • Lifelines Teacher Training: This one-day program prepares health teachers to deliver the Lifelines Student Lessons as part of Comprehensive School Health Education. The student lessons are interactive and developmentally appropriate for 8th-12th grades. A variety of youth risk behaviors are addressed. Students are taught how to identify suicidal behavior, provide an appropriate response, know how to obtain help for their friends and themselves, and most importantly, to take action to get help when needed.