The Justin Brown Memorial Foundation

Surviving The Teens-Justin Brown
An Interview with Debbie Brown on

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Catherine Strunk, a psychiatric nurse for Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the director of the Surviving The Teens Program, interviews Debbie Brown, a mother who lost her to son to suicide. She talks about signs of depression, tools to help parents prevent this tragedy, and The Justin Brown Memorial Foundation .

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Recorded on 8/15/2008 at CET Studios

Teen suicide rates are growing at an alarming rate, but until you are personally affected, you may not realize how very real the problem is.

On April 11, 2006, my 14-year-old son Justin Brown ended his life.

In an attempt to find some positive in this senseless tragedy, I am working to educate others to recognize the signs of a troubled teen in the hope that no one will have to endure as I have the reality of teen suicide.

In April 2007, the Justin Brown Memorial Foundation was established to heighten awareness of teen suicide, and to provide services to aid in its prevention.

Did you know…

  • 1 in 10 teens attempts suicide and the numbers continue to increase?
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death of young people ages 10-24?
  • More often than not, teens contemplating suicide give clear signs of their intent?

What can be done on the local level?

  • Increas funding for existing services
  • Obtain grants to help teens that cannot afford existing services
  • See what other communities are doing, and bring their ideas here
  • Be creative. Brainstorm and come up with new services

The Justin Brown Memorial Foundation hopes to provide vital information and services to those in need. It is our hope to provide grants to families and teens that cannot afford existing services.

Additional services the JBMF hopes to be able to provide:

  • An after school hang out program for teens similar to that of the Boys & Girls Club
  • Academic tutoring services
  • Counseling and therapy options for teens
  • An educational program increasing the awareness of teen suicide:
    • What are the signs?
    • Who should you talk to?
    • Where can you go to get help?
  • Fundraisers such as raffles, golf outing, walks-for-awareness, colored wristbands, etc.
  • Ultimately, the creation of a retreat facility where teens can go to work on their self-esteem, discuss their problems with professionals, as well as one another.
  • Assistance for parents dealing with pre- and post-suicidal teens


Financial support for essential services and programs
Understanding that there IS a problem and that it’s GROWING
No child should feel that suicide is the only answer to his or her problems
Determination to educate people to see the signs early on, before it’s too late Success is saving lives

Existing services must be expanded, and more research must be done. One successful service program is ‘Surviving the Teens’, that works towards suicide PREVENTION. Coordinated by a registered nurse at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, this educational program provides student classroom instruction, parent information presentations and teacher training.