RHY Resources

How to Know if You’re Really Including ‘Youth Voice’

A new brief from Portland State University’s Research and Training Center offers an overview of typical approaches to including young people in organizational planning and decision-making. Instead of focusing on the number of young people ‘at the table’ as a measure of success, adults are encouraged to track the number of decisions made that actually reflect young people’s input. New and existing tools for assessing the quality of youth involvement are described and available in the full article.


Feasibility of Using Mobile Technology with Young Homeless Mothers

Adolescent mothers living in TLP settings in New York participated in a small qualitative study exploring whether a mobile app working in concert with ‘sensorbands’ that measure stress levels can be used to send timely messages aimed at improving emotion regulation. The app is part of a curriculum teaching young mothers to better navigate the stresses of parenting young children, and asks mothers to rate how they’re feeling in real-time, and provides support and self-regulation tips (Breathe!). Early results are promising and are described in the full article online.



Why Providers Should Screen Youth for Cyberbullying

A systematic review of data on 150,000 young people in 30 countries over a 21-year period indicates that involvement in cyberbullying significantly raises the risk of suicide. Victims of cyberbullying were found to be more than twice as likely to self-harm or attempt suicide, and male perpetrators of cyberbullying were also at increased risk of depression and suicidal ideation. RHY providers should consider routinely screening youth for cyberbullying involvement; assessing youth who disclose cyberbullying experiences for mental health problems; and finding nonjudgmental ways to address the needs of perpetrators as well as victims. Learn more about this study.


Study Shows Mentoring Reduces Recidivism Rates

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recently released results from a study of the My Life mentoring program which works with young people ages 16-18 in foster care. At two-year follow up, researchers found statistically significant reductions in recidivism rates specifically for young adult male participants, and for those who were not engaged in developmental disability services concurrent to mentoring. Cost-benefit analysis suggested that it cost three times more to incarcerate young adults who did not receive mentoring than it would have to engage them in My Life during high school. RHY providers interested in mentoring youth at high-risk of criminal justice involvement can read the full report to learn what elements of the program are most effective, for which populations.


Suicide Rising Across the US: More Than a Mental Health Concern

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US. Suicide rates increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016. Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor. In fact, many people who die by suicide are not known to have a diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Other problems often contribute to suicide, such as those related to relationships, substance use, physical health, and job, money, legal, or housing stress. Making sure government, public health, healthcare, employers, education, the media and community organizations are working together is important for preventing suicide. Public health departments can bring together these partners to focus on comprehensive state and community efforts with the greatest likelihood of preventing suicide.


  • More information about National Suicide Statistics can be found at the National Injury Center here.
  • Improving Care for Homeless Patients at Risk for Suicide presentation (various HHS agencies and partners) can be found here.
  • Addressing Veteran Homelessness to Prevent Veteran Suicides

  • Recent article on vets, homelessness and suicide risk found.  Veterans with a history of homelessness attempted suicide in the previous two years at a rate >5.0 times higher compared with veterans without a history of homelessness (6.9% versus 1.2%). That article can be found here. The article it cites is attached.
  • Recent poster presentation (1/12/18) at the Society for Social Work and Research Conference.  It’s titled, “Why Do Homeless People Commit Suicide?: Analysis of Mental Health and Substance Use As Risk Factors”.  It can be found here.

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