Date of Graduation

Fall 12-14-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

First Advisor

Dr. Jo Loomis

Second Advisor

Dr. Joan Fraino


The health development and critical transition period of preteen to adolescence are subject to adverse experiences and prevalent risk behaviors that may negatively influence mental health. Emerging issues of depression and suicide among school-aged youths present a global epidemic. Well-designed interventions, such as school-based programs, align with national strategies and health initiatives to reduce suicide rates and facilitate treatment of concerning symptoms. Database searches for school-based, suicide, depression, prevention, and screening literature from 2012-2017 identified 12 relevant studies selected for review. Mental wellness and suicide prevention curricula must successfully improve wisdom, enhance coping skills/resilience, and foster relationships which support help-seeking behavior and provide intervention services. Health promotion, mental health assessment, and subsequent treatment addressing elements of suicidal ideation and self-harm are critical to plan design. Research findings continue to emphasize the need for validated effective prevention programs and additional research. Adopting ongoing intervention strategies is necessary to prevent further disparity. Innovative approaches to care possess significant value in addressing the dynamic health needs of adolescents suffering from depression and suicide.