KidsFirst Partners to Reach Youth at Risk of Suicide


Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 in California. In response, KidsFirst is proud to partner with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and The Center at Sierra Health Foundation to develop and implement a mobile app as part of CDPH’s Youth Suicide Prevention Media and Outreach Campaign.


KidsFirst will utilize a $500,000 grant funded by Assembly Bill 178 from Sierra Health Foundation to collaborate with technology experts at area colleges to develop the app.  KidsFirst clinical staff and case managers will help Placer County middle schoolers process their experiences by using their scenarios to create relevant content for youth at risk of suicide.


For local youth at increased risk of suicide, including victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, the app will facilitate safe and secure communication between youth, survivors, case managers, and mental health professionals while sharing suicide prevention messages to reduce suicide, suicide attempts and self-harm behavior.


“Deaths due to suicide leave a tragic loss for families and society. For Latinx/Hispanic youth in Placer County, with this app, our culturally sensitive therapists and outreach professionals can create a safe, non-judgmental space for them to share their stories and provide access to mental health support,” commented KidsFirst Executive Director Debbie Gabelich.


“California’s youth are the heartbeat of our future. Sadly, too many are dying by suicide or wrestling with suicidal thoughts and feelings on their own. When they are unwell, we are all grieved,” said Chet P. Hewitt, CEO of The Center at Sierra Health Foundation. “We believe that community organizations closest to young people are critical to reaching youth. The Center is grateful to partner with the California Department of Public Health on the Youth Suicide Prevention Media and Outreach Campaign to connect young people with hope and culturally competent mental health resources through community-based organizations.”


KidsFirst is proud to be included in the list of organizations entrusted with this campaign and acknowledged for our commitment to cultural humility, along with our dedicated and responsive staff, and leadership that reflect the racial, ethnic and cultural communities we serve.

Scroll to Top