The Chase Home and others fighting teen suicide

Blog > The Chase Home and others fighting teen suicide

In the past two years, The Chase Home in Portsmouth has expanded services to include early intervention/prevention, which are designed to address emerging issues in youth and families before they reach a critical stage.

Left to Right, Cory Towne-Kerr, Kristy Whipple and Lindsey Ellis of The Chase Home.

In its Seacoast Youth Suicide Prevention Network (SYSPN) program, made possible through a multi-year initiative funded by Exeter Hospital, The Chase Home seeks to better support youth it already serves and those outside their general demographic. Other leading partners include New Heights and Seacoast Outright.

Currently, all three agencies are planning a series of internal trainings designed to assist respective staff members in better detecting and addressing risk factors that lead to teen suicide.

Artwork by a former resident, age 16 at the time

“The training piece is critical, because we all work with different segments of the population,” said The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “We need to each understand what the other knows about the issues facing kids and youth.”

Next steps in the process include providing external trainings to staff of other agencies that regularly come into contact with youth. Wheeler said they also plan to step up marketing around the program, which will include a digital presence geared toward caregivers and youth.

“Kids are online and they are talking, looking for answers to questions,” she said. “We need to be where the kids are, too.”

By the end of fiscal year 2019, which concludes June 30, 2019, Wheeler said the hope is that SYSPN will include all organizations funded through Exeter’s Hospital’s initiative.

“We want to serve as a referral source for youth and their families and connect them with the services best suited to their particular needs,” she added. “We offer services in this program through our partners, but we also want to be a referral source.”

To learn more about SYSPN, or to sign up for an external training (dates TBD), contact While information on SYSPN may be found at, more information will be available on a dedicated program website sometime by early spring 2019.