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Suicide is the fastest-growing cause of death for adolescents ages 10-14 (Horowitz et al., 2020). In the United States, the youth suicide rate tripled from 2007 to 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death for those ages 10-24 (Curtis, 2019). This prevention program, Brighter Days Collective, utilizes occupational therapy (OT) practitioners to support middle school-aged adolescents by applying OT interventions based on theory and evidence-based practices. Brighter Days Collective aims to utilize OT practitioner expertise to support adolescents through educating students about mental health and employing occupations that enhance connection, coping skills, and living a purposeful life.

This 7-week program was developed through findings during experiences with multiple partners. Although this program was unable to be implemented due to time constraints, initial content evaluations were given to determine the feasibility and face validity of Brighter Days Collective. Multiple stakeholders reported that the program demonstrated a need and was unique in its content delivery. Stakeholders also strongly agreed that the program addresses relevant aspects of youth mental health and suicide prevention in a manner that is easily delivered as a school-wide intervention. Better Days Collective demonstrates OT’s unique ability to address mental health while considering students’ individual experiences, the school environment, and specific occupational supports and barriers.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

Suicide, Mental Health, Occupational Therapy, Child, Adolescent, Program Development


Mental and Social Health | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences April 12-14, 2022.

An OT-Led Suicide Prevention Program for Middle School-Aged Youth