Suicide Prevention Overview

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading death among 10-24 year-olds (behind accidents) in the United States (CDC, 2016). Contrary to popular belief, talking about suicide or asking someone if they are feeling suicidal will NOT put the idea in their head or cause them to kill themselves. Evidence demonstrates that suicide is preventable and talking about it is one step toward prevention (California Mental Health Services Authority, 2012). Schools are essential community settings in which to engage in youth suicide prevention activities. “In schools rather than in the home or community, a student’s problems with academics, peers and other issues are much more likely to be evident, and suicidal signals may occur here with the greatest frequency. At school, students have the greatest exposure to multiple helpers such as teachers, counselors, coaches, staff and classmates who have the potential to intervene” (USF, 2012).Students themselves often know about a peer’s suicidal thoughts “but do not tell adults because they do not know how adults will respond or think they cannot help” (Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program). By providing our youth with the skills and education they need about the causes of suicide and its prevention, we provide them with information and resiliency that will serve them throughout their lives. It is equally important to provide our school personnel and families with the information and training they need to prevent youth suicide. Suicide tends to be preceded by a number of risk factors. There is a gradual progression from suicidal ideation to suicidal behavior to a suicide attempt. Our schools can be part of a community effort to provide our youth with the skills they need to become resilient in the face of distress. Schools can play a positive role in enhancing those factors that protect against suicide and that develop resiliency-­‐promoting skills. In this section, there will be several pieces of information and resources available for parents and/or caregivers to assist with our most precious resource (the student) should they need help. Calistoga Family Center 707-942-6206 St. Helena Family Center 707-963-1919 School Based Services Contacts: Dana Sabin-Elementary and Primary Schools Behaviorist 707-967-2772 Primary 707-967-2712 Elementary Terry O'Leary-RLS School Counselor 707-967-2725 Laura Jorgenson-SHHS School Counselor 707-967-2740