If you have ever had a student to complete suicide, you never forget it. You always think about what you could have said or done differently to change his or her mind. The thought that bothers me most is that suicide is a preventable death. The problem is that the topic is often considered taboo in the majority of schools. Wanting to know more, I decided to join our local suicide coalition to find training and resources to break down the stigma that exists in my community around suicide. Since joining our coalition, I have learned a lot about the signs of suicide, how to speak to parents about an attempt, and what resources to offer our parents and teachers. Thankfully, my confidence has increased and I even train other educators about suicide prevention!
School counselors are often expected to be the school expert in suicide awareness and prevention; however, many of my colleagues, including myself, are often petrified when we hear the word. In my humble opinion, I believe that our fear comes from our lack of training, ignorance about protocols, and unfamiliarity with helpful resources. Since September is Suicide Prevention Month, I wanted to share some resources, training, and helpful information.
Question, Persuade, Refer – Gatekeeper training.
Signs of Suicide – Secondary Suicide Prevention Program.
Sources of Strength – School program to prevent suicide.
Trevor Project – Resources for LGBTQ teens.
See my past post of suicide resources from 2014.