Particularly when dealing with possible suicide contagion, school crisis team members should remain mindful of their own limitations, and consider bringing in trained trauma responders from other school districts or local mental health centers to help them as needed.
In particularly complicated situations (and provided that sufficient funding is available to cover any applicable fees), schools may even consider bringing in local or national experts in suicide postvention for additional consultation and assistance. Such steps should generally be taken in consultation with the community committee, and all outside experts must of course be carefully vetted and references checked. Organizations that can provide crisis response, postvention consultation, training, and/or can put schools in touch with appropriate experts include:
• National Emergency Assistance Team of the National Association of School Psychologists http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/neat.aspx
- National Institute for Trauma and Loss sponsors a TLC Referral Directory of certified trauma and loss specialists and consultants. Note that directory is accessible to TLC members only. http://www.starrtraining.org/online-referral-directory.
- The Dougy Center: National Center for Grieving Children & Families http://www.dougy.org
- Riverside Trauma Center http://www.riversidetraumacenter.org
- Boston Children’s Foundation http://www.bostoncf.org
- Services for Teens at Risk (STAR) Center, University of Pittsburghhttp://www.starcenter.pitt.edu
Many states have other resources available; check with your state office of education. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center maintains contact information for selected individuals working in suicide prevention in each state who may be able to assist you in identifying local experts (http://www.sprc.org/stateinformation/index.asp). We regret that neither AFSP nor SPRC are able to provide individual technical assistance in these circumstances.