Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools

Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
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Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools was funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help high schools, school districts, and their partners design and implement strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among their students. The information and tools in this toolkit will help schools and their partners.

Suicide prevention efforts in high schools are usually led by school counselors, mental health professionals, or social workers. But it is important to remember that no one—not the principal, not the counselor, and not the most passionate and involved parent—can establish effective suicide prevention strategies alone. The participation, support, and active involvement of others in the school and community are essential for success.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Chapter 1: Getting Started  15

Getting Started Tools 23

Tool 1.A: Suicide Prevention: Facts for Schools 24

Tool 1.B: Chart of School Staff Responsibilities  28

Tool 1.C: Chart of Community Partners 30

Tool 1.D: Risk and Protective Factors and Warning Signs Factsheets 32

Tool 1.E: Data on Youth Suicide 43

Tool 1.F: Suicide and Substance Abuse Information Sheet 45

Tool 1.G: Suicide and Bullying Information Sheet  47

Tool 1.H: The Implications of Culture on Suicide Prevention Information Sheet 50

Tool 1.I: Checklist of Suicide Prevention Activities 52

Tool 1.J: Matrix of School-Based Suicide Prevention Programs 54

Tool 1.K: Suicide Prevention Registries Information Sheet 56

Chapter 2: Protocols for Helping Students at Risk of Suicide 57

Protocols for Helping Students at Risk of Suicide Tools 67

Tool 2.A: Questions for Mental Health Providers.. 68

Tool 2.B: Protocol for Helping a Student at Risk of Suicide 69

Tool 2.B.1: Suicide Risk Assessment Resources  70

Tool 2.B.2: Self-Injury and Suicide Risk Information Sheet 71

Tool 2.B.3 Guidelines for Notifying Parents 72

Tool 2.B.4: Parent Contact Acknowledgement Form 74

Tool 2.B.5: Guidelines for Student Referrals 75

Tool 2.B.6: Student Suicide Risk Documentation Form. 76

Tool 2.C: Protocol for Responding to a Student Suicide Attempt  79

Tool 2.D: Guidelines for Facilitating a Student’s Return to School  80

Chapter 3: After a Suicide 83

After a Suicide Tools  92

Tool 3.A: Immediate Response Protocol  93

Tool 3.A.1: Sample Script for Office Staff  96

Tool 3.A.2: Sources of Postvention Consultation 97

Tool 3.A.3: Guidelines for Working with the Family 98

Tool 3.A.4: Guidelines for Notifying Staff 99

Tool 3.A.5: Sample Announcements. 100

Tool 3.A.6: Sample Letter to Families 103

Tool 3.A.7: Talking Points for Students and Staff after a Suicide 104

Tool 3.A.8: Guidelines for Memorialization 105

Tool 3.A.9: Guidelines for Working with the Media 107

Tool 3.B: Long-Term Response Protocol 108

Tool 3.B.1: Guidelines for Anniversaries of a Death 109

Chapter 4: Staff Education and Training  111

Staff Education and Training Tools 119

Tool 4.A: Matrix of Staff Education and Training Programs  120

Chapter 5: Parent/Guardian Education and Outreach  125

Parent/Guardian Education and Outreach Tools  133

Tool 5.A: Parent/Guardian Education and Outreach Programs 134

Tool 5.B: Suicide Prevention and Schools: Facts for Parents 136

Chapter 6: Student Programs 139

Student Programs Tools 149

Tool 6.A: Types of Student Programs Information Sheet150

Tool 6.B: Matrix of Student Programs152

Chapter 7: Screening 157

Screening Tools 166

Tool 7.A: Matrix of Screening Programs 167

Tool 7.B: Ideas for Maximizing Parental Response Rate 168

Resources 173

Handouts 209

Contributors 229


Administrtors in high schools, students, parents, individuals with suicide and other lifethreatening helath issues, state and local educational officials responsibble for community health issues.

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Health and Human Services Dept., Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Key Phrases:
  • SMA 12 4669
  • Suicide
  • Toolkit for High Schools
  • High Schools
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