A new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH’s) Youth Suicide Prevention Project (YSPP) describes the burden of self-inflicted injury among Illinois youth and maps it at the county level using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps.
Illinois hospital discharge data on self-inflicted injury from 2009 through 2012 among youth aged 15 to 18 were aggregated to the county level. High-risk counties were defined as any county that has both high hospitalization rates and high hospitalization counts. High hospitalization rates due to self-inflicted injury were defined as rates above the state average (175.0 per 10,000 population). High hospitalization counts due to self-inflicted injury were defined as counts in the top 2 quartiles (54 to 3,481 self-inflicted injuries).
Additionally, a GIS address geocoder was used to plot the addresses of Illinois schools participating in the online Gatekeeper training program. Gatekeeper training sessions are research-proven simulations to prepare middle school and high school administrators, teachers, and staff to recognize psychological distress in students and link them with support systems.
The mapping analysis identified 32 high-risk counties for youth aged 15 to 18. Most of the high-risk counties are in the central and northern regions of the state. The southern region of the state has only one high-risk county. Among the 32 high-risk counties, 17 counties had high schools that had participated in the Gatekeeper training program. As of November 2013, 98 high schools in Illinois had participated in the Gatekeeper training program.
These data will be used in conjunction with program data to drive program decisions, identify high-risk counties, and market the interactive online Gatekeeper training program provided to IDPH.
Tracking Youth Self-Inflicted Injury Hospitalizations to Target High-Risk Communities, Leverage Resources, and Unify Stakeholder Efforts: Illinois Department of Public Health, Benjamin S. Arbise, MPH, CHES, Illinois Department of Public Health, Preventing Chronic Disease, published 13 November 2014.