Year: 2022 Source: Prevention Science. (2022). Published 1 March 2022. SIEC No: 20220350

Self-directed violence (SDV) is a significant public health issue for adolescents and emerging adults, and yet youth exposure to prevention messaging and youth perspectives on SDV prevention needs are understudied. The current study sought to better understand the ways in which a national sample of youth and emerging adults were exposed to suicide prevention programs or conversations. A sample of 1031 young people ages 13–23 were recruited nationally through social media. Survey questions asked about SDV prevention exposure. Open-ended questions asked youth to suggest additional information they desired about SDV. A majority of participants (87%) reported that they had received prevention exposure from at least one source (i.e., family, online, attending a talk, or formal program) with few differences by demographic characteristics. However, sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth reported accessing more SDV prevention information online compared to other youth. Overall, youth had many ideas about what additional information they needed, including how to help someone at risk for SDV and how to access information about mental health. While the majority of youth are receiving some SDV prevention messages, there is variation in how they get this information, and survey participants still felt they were missing important information. Findings highlight the need to resource more comprehensive SDV prevention for youth and young adults.