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Suicide Prevention Resources

Resources for families

American Foundation for Suicide PreventionChildren, Teens, and Suicide Loss

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

 

The Dougy Center: "How to Help a Grieving Teen"

 

University of Illionois: "Talking to Adolescents about Death"

 

 

ausd's suicide prevention program

In the fall of 2017, AUSD adopted a new policy on suicide prevention.

 

The policy was adopted in response to Assembly Bill 2246, which mandates that the governing board of all school districts that serve students in grades seven to twelve adopt a policy and guidelines on student suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. The bill further required that districts need to develop such plans together with suicide prevention experts, parent/guardians, student advocates, and school mental health professionals.

 

The policy

AUSD's new policy asserts that AUSD:

 

  • Believes that maintaining a safe environment for students is part of a school’s overall mission,
  • Recognizes that physical, behavioral, and emotional health is an integral component of a student’s educational outcomes,
  • Recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among young people,
  • Has an ethical responsibility to take a proactive approach in preventing deaths by suicide, and
  • Acknowledges the school’s role in providing an environment which is sensitive to individual and societal factors that place youth at greater risk for suicide and one which helps to foster positive youth development.

What steps have been taken? 

In May 2017, representatives from Alameda Family Services and Crisis Support Services of Alameda County, along with counselors, school psychologists, and a small group of parent/guardians met to review AUSD's draft suicide prevention plan. In 2017-18, AUSD staff received professional development on suicide prevention and vulnerable students from Seneca Family of Agencies. Principals also received training in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

 

The big picture

AUSD's work on suicide prevention is part of its larger-scale focus on student social-emotional health, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), and restorative practices.  In 2017-18, the district administered a comprehensive mental health assessment at all AUSD schools. The steering committee for that assessment continues to review the data and make recommendations based on the findings.

DYK? Facts about Suicide

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth and young adults aged 10 to 24 years (CDC).
  • The number one person a student will turn to for helping a suicidal friend is a teacher (Jason Foundation).
  • The 2015-17 CA Healthy Kids Survey found that 16% of 9th graders and 16% of 11th graders in California have considered suicide. (CHKS).
  • In Alameda,  14% of 9th graders and 13% of 11th  graders  have considered suicide (CHKS).
  •  25% of California 9th graders and 32% of 11th graders said they had chronic feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the last 12 months (CHKS).
  • Four out of five youth who attempt suicide show clear warning signs (Jason Foundation).
  • Risk factors for youth suicide include isolation, depression, being LGBTQ, and substance abuse (CDC).