Going Forward

In the ensuing months, schools should consider implementing:

  • Suicide awareness programs to educate teachers and other school personnel about the

    symptoms of depression and the causes of suicidal behavior in young people

  • Programs to educate students themselves about the symptoms and risks of depression, anxiety,

    substance abuse, and conduct disorder

  • Gatekeeper training programs, which teach laypeople the practical skills for identifying and

    referring those who may be at risk, and can be made available to those in the community who

    work with young people such as youth group leaders, coaches, clergy, and parents

  • A school-based suicide prevention program

    A database of such programs that have been determined by expert peer review to reflect best practices is available at the Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention (BPR), maintained by SPRC and AFSP and available at http://www.sprc.org.

    Another source is the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While few of the programs are specific to suicide prevention, this database includes mental health interventions that have been scientifically tested. Available at http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov.

    Some schools may also wish to take collective action to address the problem of suicide, such as participating as a team in an awareness or fundraising event to support a national suicide prevention organization or local community mental health center.

Course Discussion

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