9/9/2021 Grand Rounds

Suicide Prevention for Immigrant-Origin Latinx Youth: Bridging Clinical, Family, and Social Context


Kiara Alvarez, PhD
Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Research Scientist, Disparities Research Unit Mongan Institute
Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

This presentation focuses on suicide risk and prevention among immigrant-origin youth and their families. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among U.S. 10-24 year-olds, with rising rates of suicide across age groups. Family-focused interventions have been identified as a promising approach to reducing suicide risk. Youth from immigrant families, who comprise over a quarter of the US youth population but face substantial barriers to mental health service access, may particularly benefit from these approaches. In this presentation, the development of a brief family-based preventive intervention for Latinx immigrant-origin youth experiencing suicidal ideation will be used to illustrate key principles and dilemmas in culturally and contextually-relevant suicide prevention. These findings will be linked to a broader discussion of approaches to bridging clinical, family, and social/community contexts for immigrant adolescents via multilevel interventions. Both research and clinical practice implications will be addressed.

Learning Objectives:
    1. Describe the prevalence of suicidality among immigrant youth.
    2. Describe one of the brief family-based preventive interventions for suicidal Latinx youth.
    3. Discuss multilevel interventions that bridge clinical, family and social/community contexts.