Suicide Prevention in HSD


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    Suicide Intervention in HSD

    1. Student of concern is connected immediately with a School Suicide Screener. (Staff members who are trained to be School Suicide Screeners: School Counselors, Principals, Support and Wellness Counselors, School-based Youth Contact Therapists, Assistant Principals, Deans of Students, and School Nurses)

    2. School Suicide Screener interviews student and contacts parent. School Suicide Screener consults with another School Suicide Screener or Crisis Line, then recommends and facilitates next steps, based on interviews, assessed risk, and consultation.*

    *If a legal parent or guardian of the student would like to review the interventions noted above as to how a school responded to suicidal risk, please reach out to your school administrator.  The building administrator will connect the legal parent or guardian to the School Suicide Screener to review the process noted above.

    Suicide Postvention in HSD
    HSD is prepared to provide support in the event of a suicide attempt or death by suicide. Postvention strategies are important because youth and others associated with the suicide attempt or death are vulnerable to suicide contagion; or in other words, at increased risk for suicide. 

    Postvention supports are primarily provided by the school counselors. The district Flight Team system also supports schools, if needed. 

    Support after a Suicide Attempt

    1. School Counselor or Case Manager meets with student and parent/guardian. Together, they develop a supportive, safe, confidential school environment using the School Support Plan form from the HSD Suicide Intervention Protocol.

    2. The Support Plan is reviewed and adjusted as needed.

    Support after a Death by Suicide

    The Flight Team system is the district crisis response team of trained grief counselors ready to support schools following the death of a student or staff member. The Flight Team provides the support needed to help the school community grieve a loss, re-establish emotional stability, and return to learning. 

    Postvention Goals:

    • Support the grieving process
    • Prevent suicide contagion
    • Reestablish healthy school climate
    • Provide long-term surveillance
    • Integrate and strengthen protective factors (ie community, positive coping skills, resiliency, etc)

    Generally, a postvention response includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

    • Verify information and inform faculty and staff
    • Estimate level of response resources required 
    • Identify at-risk students and staff 
    • Determine what and how information is to be shared with parents/guardians, students, and school staff.
    • Refresh faculty and staff on prevention protocols and how to be responsive to signs of risk. 
    • Make available information regarding resources for families.

    Safe Messaging about Suicide: HSD follows accepted guidelines to safely share news that someone has died by suicide. Safe messaging can help reduce the risk of suicide contagion in a community. 

    • Suicide prevention (warning signs, risk factors)
    • Survivors are not responsible for the death
    • Mental health disorders often underlie suicide behavior.
    • Normalize anger
    • Stress alternatives
    • Help is available

    Cautions:

    • Avoid romanticizing or glorifying the suicide, or vilifying the victim
    • Do not provide excessive details or describe the event as courageous or rational 
    • Address the loss but avoid school disruption as best as possible 

    School and Community Resources: 

    • School Based: School Counselors, Support and Wellness Counselors, Care Coordinators, Youth Contact Therapists. Contact your student’s school to access these supports.
    • Community: Washington County Crisis Line and YouthLine. Hawthorn Walk-In Center. HSD Care Coordinators help families find a good fit with counseling supports in the community. (use this resource sheet?)

    Parenting Resources:

    Verbiage for cultural considerations in Suicide Prevention
    Just as there are many factors that contribute to suicide, so there are many approaches to preventing suicide: mental, emotional, biological, social, cultural, spiritual. With broadbased support all groups - schools, health care providers, faith-based organizations, youth groups, senior citizens centers, and local and tribal governments to name but a few – will recognize the roles they can play and the ways in which they can collaborate.

    Protective Factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behavior and as an important part of suicide prevention:

    • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
    • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
    • Family and community support (connectedness)
    • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation
    • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
    • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes

Contact

  • Brooke Nova
    HSD Contact
    503.844.1485

    911 Emergency

    211 for help