Shield of Care: A System-Focused Approach to Protecting Juvenile Justice Youth from Suicide

Developed by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) and partners, Shield of Care is an 8-hour, evidence-informed curriculum that teaches juvenile justice staff strategies to prevent suicide in their correctional facility environment. The Shield of Care suicide prevention model (S-Plan) is unique because it is tailored to the juvenile justice environment and emphasizes a system-focused model of preventing suicide. Specifically, the Shield of Care model does the following: (1) Emphasizes that policy, connectedness to youth, and communication between staff are essential system-level elements of suicide prevention; (2) Teaches staff specific steps of effective suicide intervention (Seeing, Protecting, Listening, Assessing, Networking); and (3) Provides opportunities for staff to reflect on internal policies for suicide prevention, discuss strategies for overcoming potential barriers, and plan how to take action in their specific facility context.

Population of focus: Adolescents in correctional facilities

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Organization: Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services