The Youth Council for Suicide Prevention (YCSP) was initiated in 2013 by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Emergency Department to address the need for continued attention to suicide prevention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, approximately 75 youth have served on the council. In 2018, the YCSP began working in conjunction with 1N5. YCSP values the voice of young people and aims to empower youth to address an issue that has a profound affect on them. Members are recruited from area schools and most members have dealt with suicide first-hand through family, friends or their own attempts. Since its foundation, YCSP has contributed to the work of CCHMC in a variety of ways.The council meets every other Sunday at 1-3pm from September to May at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Clifton. We have breaks over the winter holidays and summer vacation. As a member, you are required to not miss more than three meetings (unless for extenuating circumstances). Time in the council counts towards volunteer/service hours through your high school.
To work with the hospital and the community toward our goals of ending mental health stigma and creating tangible change through projects that engage students while making sure that we are taking care of ourselves and creating positive relationships among us.
Click HERE for the YCSP Application for the 2022-2023 school year. The application deadline is June 17, 2022. Feel free to email us with any questions or concerns, firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings for the 2022-2023 school year will begin on August 28, 2022. YCSP will then meet every other Sunday until the end of May 2023.
Aiden LenoxAiden Lenox has been a member of YCSP since 2019. He is a junior at Walnut Hills High School. He is the president and founder of the We Dine Together club, which promotes inclusivity during lunchtime. He is also the founder of Kind is the New Cool to promote kindness throughout Cincinnati schools. He likes biking, hiking, outdoor activities, music, NASCAR, and photography. Aiden is eager about promoting kindness and mental health awareness throughout Cincinnati.
What is your favorite part of YCSP? My favorite part of YCSP (despite it being virtual this year) is being involved with a group of like-minded people who all are passionate about mental health. I believe everyone in the group brings something unique to the table and I love interacting with everyone and hearing various ideas/thoughts I may not have come up with myself.
Autumn McMichaelHow is YCSP helping you grow?YCSP is a great support system. It is also helping me learn how to use different forms of strength to get through difficult times.
Why did you want to join YCSP?I wanted to make a positive impact on the community as it concerns mental health and create a better environment for students today. I want to normalize mental health, especially in the African American community.
Why did you want to join YCSP? I wanted to join YCSP to try to help reduce the number of people that are feeling depressed, anxious, alone, or isolated especially during these uncertain times. We hopefully can come together to better support those coping with the challenges of mental illness. By spreading awareness and talking openly about these issues, we can lessen the stigma that often accompanies these struggles and do more to reach out and find ways to be a better source of strength for others.
Diya JoshiDiya has been a part of YCSP for one year now! She is also a senior at Mason High School and is very passionate about this cause. She loves to also dance, read, and bake. She is overall super excited to be a part of this council and hopes to make a large impact on the area in reducing the stigma, together.
Ellie FormanWhy did you want to join YCSP?I wanted to join YCSP because I know a lot of people that have lost someone to suicide and it is a growing problem that I want to bring more attention and awareness to.
Felissa WallaceWhy did you want to join YCSP? Walnut Hills is a school full of hard-working students that constantly balance grades, extracurriculars, and a social life. More often than not, students have a hard time balancing everything while maintaining good mental health. I wanted to join the council to help students learn how to maintain good mental health.
What is your favorite part of YCSP? My favorite part of YCSP is how we are constantly checking up on each other. We always go around and share how we are doing and what we can do to do even better in the coming weeks. It’s just such a supportive community where you can always talk about your feelings and mental health and know you won’t be thought of differently but instead supported unconditionally.
Why did you want to join YCSP?I wanted to educate myself on suicide prevention so that I could better educate others.
How is YCSP helping you grow as a person? YCSP gives me a sense of comfort knowing that many other people share the same passion as me and I feel like I am making a difference in my community and within myself. I know I am accepted in the Council and it makes me happy as a teenager.
Olive HesterHow is YCSP helping you grow?It’s definitely a pocket of calm in my hectic lifestyle. Meetings remind me to take a step back and check in on myself every once in a while.
Ryan RammacherHow is YCSP helping you?YCSP is helping me be more cognizant of my own mindset and how it can impact my own mental health.
How is YCSP helping you grow as a person? I have been able to meet amazing people and have been able to learn more about mental health and what I can do to help the people in my life and around me.
Sofie RothwellHow is YCSP helping you?It’s helping me educate myself with strategies to calm by using my Sources of Strength. I am also learning how to communicate with others and become more confident in speaking aloud.
Uyen DaoWhy did you want to join YCSP?To become educated about mental health and the consequences of not caring about yourself.
City Wide Gratitude Challenge
YCSP members decorated rocks and then attached the gratitude challenge directions with a QR code for people to learn more about how the power of gratitude changes the brain and fosters wellbeing. Rocks were dispersed across the city in a variety of locations.
YCSP Member Generated Resources
YCSP members worked to collect various Mental Health resources—apps, podcasts, hotlines, social media accounts, books–you can use to help you stay well. Check it out here!
YCSP hosted an afternoon event at Five Points Alley where participants were invited to listen to speakers, play carnival-style games, participate in various art activities, and enjoy delicious BBQ from Just Q-in.
Imperfection is True Beauty: Learning about Mindsets
This virtual event included activities that normalized all individuals are working on challenging negative thought patterns and helped increase self-love. Dr. Staurt Slavin then joined the call to discuss his work on perfectionism and mindsets.
2020 Minds Unlimited: Finding Your Strength
The 2020 evening event, which has been postponed due to COVID-19, will include storytelling to stop the stigma around mental illness, an interactive experience for guests to learn resiliency strategies, and light bites and refreshments. The evening will focus on how to move from surviving to thriving as we all work toward living a full and productive life despite any mental health challenges.
Annual Mayerson Conference
The Mayerson Student Service Leadership Workshop is an opportunity for community- based organizations to present themselves to students from various high schools across the city. Each year, YCSP creates an interactive and engaging presentation to help stop the stigma around mental health and encourage students to practice mental wellness. In 2016, YCSP won the Mini-Grant Philosophy Challenge award for the group’s presentation.
2018 Youth for Survival Gala
In 2018, YCSP hosted the Youth for Survival Gala during Mental Health Awareness month which a focus on promoting suicide prevention and mental health education and awareness for the community. The evening event included appetizers, local artist galleries, musical entertainment, speakers, workshops, and a silent auction. YCSP Gala raised over $3864 towards suicide prevention and mental health awareness!
- A sample of the Gratitude Rocks dispersed around the city.
- Getting setup for our Fighter Fest at Five Points Alley – April 25, 2021
Working on bracelets and other crafts at Fighter Fest at Five Points Alley – April 25, 2021
- Students hanging out at one of the game booths at Fighter Fest at Five Points Alley – April 25, 2021
- Students participating in the corn hole tournament at Fighter Fest at Five Points Alley – April 25, 2021
- Students presenting at the 2019 Mayerson Conference
Students presenting at the 2019 Mayerson Conference.
- Speaker, Lauren Tebbe, sharing her story at the YCSP Youth for Survival Gala
- Guest enjoying the speakers during the 2018 YCSP Youth for Survival Gala.
- Students working during a YCSP meeting.
- Result of a brainstorming session after a YCSP meeting.