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Youth Suicide Prevention Strategies

Youth Suicide Prevention/Intervention/Postvention Strategies

The amount of information on suicide and suicide prevention can be daunting. DPI has compiled a list of best practices for Wisconsin school districts on suicide prevention, intervention with a suicide, and how to respond after a suicide (postvention). Through postvention, it is important to support students and staff through a crisis event and avoid more suicide attempts. Proper messaging and special care needs to be taken with procedures in handling a suicide completion, to prevent future suicides from happening. Below are links to guides, toolkits, and strategies that will help school districts create their own crisis plans to prepare in the event of a suicide. For information on memorials, see School or Community Memorials for Students Who Have Died by Suicide.

Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
This document was funded by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help high schools, school districts, and their partners design and implement strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among their students.

WI Suicide Prevention Guide
This guide provides you with resources and links to documents and websites that will assist you in creating a comprehensive youth suicide prevention program.

After A Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools
After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools (2nd ed.) assists schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student. Originally developed in 2011, the second edition includes new information and tools that middle and high schools can use to help the school community cope and reduce suicide risk. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and in consultation with national experts, including school-based administrators and staff, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals. It is designed primarily for administrators and staff but can also be useful for parents and communities.

Highlights of the second edition include:

  • Updated information on such topics as memorialization, social media, and contagion
  • Updated resource lists
  • A new tool to help with decision-making about memorials
  • New examples of how different communities have addressed specific issues in responding to a suicide death

The Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide is a publication developed by the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida. It is not a program but a tool that provides a framework for schools to assess their existing or proposed suicide prevention efforts (through a series of checklists) and provides resources and information to enhance or add to existing programs.

The Wisconsin Components of School-Based Suicide Prevention, Intervention, & Postvention Model
The suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention guidelines are designed for schools to use within existing protocols to assist at-risk students and intervene appropriately in a suicide related crisis.

Wisconsin Suicide Prevention Strategy emphasizes that for any prevention activity to go forward, three things are necessary: a knowledge base, public support for change, and a strategy to accomplish change.

National Strategy for Suicide Prevention provides a framework for preventing premature deaths due to suicide across the life span in the United States.

For questions about this information, contact Gregg Curtis (608) 266-2820