The Oregon Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan was signed by the Oregon Health Authority and submitted to the Legislature in January 2016. It established the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide (Alliance) which is charged with advising the Oregon Health Authority on statewide youth suicide prevention and intervention policy, and implementation of the YSIPP. Members are appointed by OHA and include leaders from the public and private sectors, legislators, subject matter experts, suicide attempt and loss survivors, and young people from across the state of Oregon.


Staffing and coordination of the Alliance was contracted to the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs (AOCMHP) in the fall of 2017. This partnership has ensured that efforts of the Alliance are coordinated with Oregon’s local Mental Health Authorities who are responsible for planning and management of mental health, addictions and developmental disabilities programs across the state.

OHA also contracted with the University of Oregon Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention Lab to evaluate the YSIPP. Together the Alliance, the UO lab, and OHA have formed a Community Academic Partnership which incorporates an implementation science approach to preventing youth and young adult suicide. This partnership works closely with state and national leaders in the field, such as Lines for Life, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Oregon Pediatric Society, Oregon Family Support Network and Youth ERA. The engagement of leaders from the Oregon State Legislature, including Alliance member Sen. Sara Gelser, and key decision-makers from the Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority have been essential to helping the Alliance develop and support suicide prevention policy and practice.

The Alliance also prioritized engaging youth, young adults and parents who struggle with suicidal thoughts, attempt survivors and people who have lost a loved one to suicide. This has ensured that the Alliance’s priorities are grounded in the real-life experiences of the people and systems most impacted by the tragedy of youth suicide.

Jennifer Fraga, MSW

Suicide Prevention Project Specialist

Policy Goals and Accomplishments

To achieve their policy goals, Alliance members determined that they needed to address fragmentation of suicide prevention efforts across the state. This fragmentation was partially a result of chronic underfunding of state and local suicide prevention efforts, differing structures and staffing for suicide prevention at a county level, and a lack of a shared communication approach. An early task of the Alliance and lab was to map the field, identify suicide prevention coordinators and regional coalitions, which can be found here. To see more accomplishments from 2017 – 2020, go here.


Key Policy Accomplishments of the Alliance include:


Successfully advocating for passage of bills a in 2019 to establish the Alliance in statute (SB707), refine postvention legislation (HB918 and HB485, and require suicide prevention plans in schools (SB52).

Suicide Prevention Funding

Supported passage of OHA’s POP resulting in a first-time $6 million investment in suicide prevention and $4 million for school based mental health.


Provided guidance on administrative rules and feedback on implementation of suicide prevention legislation on HB3090, HB3091, HB2023, SB52 and SB981/485.


The Alliance has served as an incubator for new initiatives and innovation. In its first two years it:


Led implementation of Connect Postvention and designed statewide roll-out.

Sources of Strength

Coordinated pilots for Sources of Strength which later resulted in a statewide roll-out of the program.

Family Acceptance Project

Brought the Family Acceptance Project, designed to promote family acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth and mitigate family rejection, a key risk factor for suicide, to hundreds of Oregonians through an institute and the suicide prevention conference


The Alliance, using best-practices for suicide safer messaging and drawing from the YSIPP, developed three core principles for public messaging about youth suicide:


Promote a sense of hope and highlight resilience.


Make it safe to ask for help and ensure that the right help is available at the right time.


Engage individuals and communities in the healing process after an attempt or suicide.

Highlights of Alliance Activities


2020 Highlights