National Suicide Prevention Week highlights local efforts to combat teen suicide

Blog > National Suicide Prevention Week highlights local efforts to combat teen suicide

While society is beset with many issues, none may be more pressing, or heartbreaking, than teen suicide, which serves as backdrop to National Suicide Prevention Week from September 9 – September 15.

At The Chase Home in Portsmouth, this national week-long campaign underscores the need for the Seacoast Youth Suicide Prevention Network (SYSPN) program of which they are a founding member.

A multi-year initiative funded by Exeter Hospital, SYSPN works with youth at risk for suicide, which The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler said is “a tremendously challenging issue.”

“The overall suicide rate has risen nearly 50 percent in the past 17 years,” she said. “Suicide is among the top three causes of death in suicide–this is a very real issue.”

In helping for SYSPN, Wheeler said the idea was to connect as many available resources as possible under “one roof.”

“We can’t work in silos,” she said. “We need to get to the same table here.”

Wheeler credits Exeter Hospital for its “leading role” in tackling the issue of teen suicide.

“They are working with so many organizations and making a concerted effort to bring us all together to create real solutions to this issue,” she said. “I think it is important the general public recognize the role Exeter Hospital plays in our community.”

The Chase home

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs.

Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home and receive comprehensive support and services. Youth served by The Chase Home include those who have been abused, neglected, or in trouble with the law.

To learn more about SYSPN, contact While information on SYSPN may be found at, more information will be available on a dedicated program website sometime by early spring 2019.