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Youth Suicide Prevention

A listing of resources to assist school districts with the concerns about youth suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.

To assist school districts with the concerns about youth suicide, the following resources are available for dealing with suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention (sometimes referred to as "aftermath"). Some sites provide factual data and others contain programs. For more Web information, contact the coordinator for pupil services in your school district or county office of education. Counseling and student support specialists (school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses) and local mental health specialists should be consulted for individual student referrals.

Legislation

Education Code Section 41533

This statute authorizes school districts to use a portion of their Professional Development Block Grant funding to pay for suicide prevention training for school teachers. The teacher training is not to exceed two hours and may occur during a regularly scheduled in-service day.

Education Code Section 49604

This statute authorizes the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to encourage each middle school, junior high school, and high school to provide suicide prevention training to each school counselor at least one time while employed as a counselor.

Publications

Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Schools External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 14MB)
This toolkit, based on numerous national and state youth prevention toolkits, focuses on real-life application and was compiled for the Palo Alto Unified School District's Board Policy for suicide prevention.

Fact Sheets on Suicide: Adolescents and Young Adults External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
The National Adolescent Health Information Center, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, highlights some important research results on suicide. It provides information about the age adolescents are most likely to commit suicide, how gender and race impact adolescents in regard to suicide, and examines the suicide rate trends for adolescents. This Suicide Fact Sheet was published in 2006 and is based on the most current data available.

State Suicide Prevention Plans External link opens in new window or tab.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has a listing of states that have suicide prevention plans.

Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; 5MB)
This resource serves as a guide for schools to use in developing suicide prevention materials, including a toolkit and an annotated bibliography that was used in developing the guide. Funding to support development of these materials was provided through a contract from the Florida Office of Drug Control.

Resources

American Association of Suicidology External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides general guidelines for a school-based suicide prevention program, outlining the necessary components of a comprehensive school-based program including a sample curriculum. This Web site also contains information about evidence-based programs for suicide prevention.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) External link opens in new window or tab.
The AFSP is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

California Healthy Kids Resource Center External link opens in new window or tab.
Contains peer-reviewed research-based programs, videos, and books on suicide prevention and intervention. To access these materials, click on "Health Education Library" and use the key word "suicide." These materials can be borrowed from the resource center for four weeks with free delivery anywhere in California.

California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) External link opens in new window or tab.
The CalMHSA is an independent administration and fiscal government agency focused on the efficient delivery of California mental health projects. Member counties work together to develop, fund and implement mental health services, projects and educational programs at the state, regional and local levels.

Center for Mental Health in Schools-Mental Health Project External link opens in new window or tab.
The Center for Mental Health in Schools-Mental Health Project at the University of California, Los Angeles is a thorough resource for school interventions aimed at preventing suicide. It includes training on causes of suicide, data and statistics, assessing suicide risk, intervention planning and training, suicide aftermath assistance and prevention of copycat suicides, as well as other resources and contacts.

Dougy Center External link opens in new window or tab.
The Dougy Center, National Center for Grieving Children and Families provides support and training locally, nationally, and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children and teens in grief from loss, including suicide.

Jason Foundation, Inc. External link opens in new window or tab.
The Jason Foundation, Inc. is a nationally recognized leader in youth suicide awareness and prevention. The Web site contains a wide range of informative, educational materials and programs available to parents, teachers, youth workers, and others who are concerned about youth suicide.

Know the Signs External link opens in new window or tab.
Know the Signs is a statewide suicide prevention social marketing campaign built on three key messages: Know the Signs. Find the Words. Reach Out. This campaign is intended to educate Californians on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, how to find the words to have a direct conversation with someone in crisis and where to find professional help and resources.

Kognito External link opens in new window or tab.
At-Risk for Middle School Educators and At-Risk for High School Educators are research-proven online gatekeeper training simulations designed to prepare teachers, administrators and staff to recognize when a student is exhibiting signs of psychological distress, and manage a conversation with the student with the goal of connecting them to the appropriate support.

Mental Health Services Act External link opens in new window or tab.
The passage of Proposition 63 (now known as the Mental Health Services Act) provides the first opportunity in many years for the California Department of Mental Health to provide increased funding, personnel and other resources to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, transition age youth, adults, older adults and families.

My3App External link opens in new window or tab.
My3App is a mobile application designed to help those who may be having thoughts of suicide, or who have a history of suicidal behavior stay safe when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide.

National Center for Suicide Prevention Training External link opens in new window or tab.
The National Center for Suicide Prevention Training provides educational resources to assist public officials, service providers, and community-based coalitions develop effective suicide prevention programs and policies. It includes facilitated and self-paced on-line workshops that provide training on suicide prevention.

National Strategy for Suicide Prevention External link opens in new window or tab.
The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention provides a framework for suicide prevention efforts across the county. Building on the work of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action, this resource provides data about suicide, as well as information about suicide prevention efforts throughout the nation. Information about California’s suicide prevention activities can be found by clicking on “Federal, State and private activities” and selecting from the drop down menu under "Prevention Programs."

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) External link opens in new window or tab.
NAMI California is a grass roots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness. NAMI advocates for lives of quality and respect, without discrimination and stigma, for all its constituents. NAMI provides leadership in legislation, policy development, education and support throughout California.

National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) External link opens in new window or tab.
NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured. The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illness through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

Signs of Suicide (SOS) - Youth Programs External link opens in new window or tab.
The Screening for Mental Health's SOS Suicide Prevention Program is a school-based suicide prevention program targeting. The program educates teens in recognizing the signs of suicide and outlines action steps for dealing with this mental health emergency. The National Association of Schools Psychologists and many other national associations endorse SOS.

The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide External link opens in new window or tab.
This resource provides practical information about youth suicide prevention that is relevant to schools, parents, and students. This national, nonprofit organization increases awareness about both the problem of youth suicide and increases accessibility to user-friendly resources available to prevent it.

Surgeon General's Call to Action, 1999 External link opens in new window or tab.
This report promotes awareness and intervention for suicide and its risk factor and includes a section dedicated to suicide issues and facts among young people.

Suicide Prevention Crisis Line External link opens in new window or tab.
This free and confidential telephone service is open 24 hours a day with counselors available to talk about thoughts of suicide or concerns about someone who may be suicidal.

Trevor Project - Ask for Help External link opens in new window or tab.
This public service announcement campaign features empowering, first-person accounts of youth reaching out to friends, parents or counselors to promote the idea that it's ok to ask for help when you need it.

Walk in Our Shoes External link opens in new window or tab.
This campaign utilizes real stories from teens and young adults to teach youth about mental health challenges and mental wellness. The multifaceted campaign uses positive, authentic, and appropriate stories told through an interactive Web site, school-based theatrical performance, and a statewide public education campaign.

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program External link opens in new window or tab.
Part of the Light for Life Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to awareness, education, and collaboration for suicide prevention. There is a cost for Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Training and to form local chapters.

Youth Suicide Prevention Programs: A Resource Guide External link opens in new window or tab.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guide which includes eight different suicide prevention strategies including school gatekeeper training, community gatekeeper training, general suicide education, screening programs, peer support programs, crisis centers and hotlines, suicide restriction methods, and postvention. Although it was created in 1992, the site remains relevant.

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