Adaptation of Group-Based Suicide Intervention for Latinx Youth in a Community Mental Health Center

Beth Kennard, Alexandra Moorehead, Sunita Stewart, Ana El-Behadli, Hayden Mbroh, Katia Goga, Rebecca Wildman, Molly Michaels, Robin T. Higashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to better understand the sociocultural and logistical treatment needs and barriers of low-income Latinx suicidal youth; and to solicit feedback and identify best practices to adapt and implement a suicide treatment program for this population in a community mental health clinic. Working with the largest mental health care provider for urban area under- and uninsured patients, we conducted semi-structured interviews with Latinx suicidal youth (n = 6), their parents (n = 6), and clinical staff (n = 8). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed thematically using a deductively-driven codebook corresponding to interview domains. We supplemented semi-structured interview findings with knowledge gleaned from an exhaustive literature search, including best practice findings from other studies. We also conducted a brief provider survey to ensure a diverse sample. Many parents and providers focused on several unmet mental health needs and multiple barriers to accessing treatment that are common among uninsured populations: a need to prioritize parent and adolescent work schedules, lack of transportation, unstable housing, and unmet childcare needs. Additionally, participants described several factors that play a critical role in treatment: stigma, religion, fear related to immigration, gender roles, and acculturation. We mapped these findings, along with literature-identified best practices, to create components of a culturally-tailored adaptation. We combined primary and secondary evidence of Latinx suicidal youth and families’ mental health needs and barriers to treatment to propose a tailored adaption of an intensive outpatient program that provides transdiagnostic, suicide-specific care to Latinx adolescents and families in a community setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2058-2069
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Latinx youth
  • Suicidality
  • Suicide intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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