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Plan, Prepare, Prevent: The SOS Signs of Suicide® Online Gatekeeper Training

Setting 
Middle Schools & High Schools
Type of Program 
Education & Training
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
2.3, 2.4 (2012)
Description 

Plan, Prepare, Prevent: The SOS Signs of Suicide® Online Gatekeeper Training is the training module of the larger SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (listed in Section I of the BPR). It can also be used independently of the SOS Program. The intended audience for this course is middle and high school staff members, or staff at other organizations looking to deepen their understanding of youth suicide prevention. Plan, Prepare, Prevent is available from Screening for Mental Health for a fee.

Program Description 

Plan, Prepare, Prevent: The SOS Signs of Suicide® Online Gatekeeper Training is the training module of the larger SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (listed in Section I of the BPR). It can also be used independently of the SOS Program. The intended audience for this course is middle and high school staff members, or staff at other organizations looking to deepen their understanding of youth mental health and considering implementing an evidence-based prevention program. The module provides contextual information about mental illness, suicide, and risk and protective factors, and teaches participants to recognize and respond to the warning signs of depression and suicide. The course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, and has videos and interactive quizzes throughout the three sections. The course offers contact hours for licensure for school nurses, social workers, psychologists, and counselors. It also offers a Certificate of Completion for anyone who finishes the course.

Screening for Mental Health® (SMH) developed the SOS Program in 2001. To create the online course, SMH staff worked with the Tufts University School of Medicine’s Health Care Institute. A cross-disciplinary team piloted the module, providing feedback prior to launching the online course.

Objectives 

As a result of completing the Plan, Prepare, Prevent online course, school staff will be able to:
1. Discuss the prevalence of youth depression and suicidal behavior
2. Describe risk and protective factors for depression and suicidal behavior
3. Recognize and respond to suicide warning signs
4. Understand the steps involved in rolling out an evidence-based school suicide prevention program

Implementation Essentials 
  • The Plan, Prepare, Prevent online course is best used as part of a collaborative approach to school-based suicide prevention. 
Contact Information 
Rebecca Davis
Youth Programs Manager
Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
1 Washington Street, Suite 304
Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
Voice: 781-591-5242
Fax: 781-431-7447
 
Organization 
Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
Costs 

The Plan, Prepare, Prevent online training is included in the SOS Program (listed in Section I of the BPR) at no additional charge. Organizations not currently using the SOS Program may gain free access to the online training by visiting www.mentalhealthscreening.org/Gatekeeper. The course offers free contact hour credits for completion.

First Posted 
Mar 10 2014

Networks for Life: An Educator's Role in Youth Suicide Prevention

Setting 
Middle Schools & High Schools
Type of Program 
Education & Training
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
1.1, 2.4, 3.1, 5.2, 7.1 (2012)
Description 

Networks for Life: An Educator’s Role in Youth Suicide Prevention is a 3-hour training on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in the school setting. Designed for use in Washington State, it covers (1) the scope of youth suicide locally; (2) risk and protective factors; (3) school policies, procedures, and crisis response plans; (4) strategies for creating a preventive culture; (5) signs of depression and suicidal thinking in adolescents; (6) a basic 3-step intervention process; (7) local resources; and (8) best practices in postvention and the prevention of suicide contagion. Program costs vary. Contact Karyn Brownson of the Washington Youth Suicide Prevention Program for more information.

Program Description 

Networks for Life: An Educator’s Role in Youth Suicide Prevention is a 3-hour training on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in the school setting. Designed for use in Washington State, it covers (1) the scope of youth suicide locally; (2) risk and protective factors; (3) school policies, procedures, and crisis response plans; (4) strategies for creating a preventive culture; (5) signs of depression and suicidal thinking in adolescents; (6) a basic 3-step intervention process; (7) local resources; and (8) best practices in postvention and the prevention of suicide contagion. The training emphasizes schools’ important and unique role in youth suicide prevention and gives participants specific, easy-to-use tools. Discussions, brainstorms, practice scenarios, and opportunities to review policies and resources are included.

Networks for Lifeevolved from many years of work in the field by Washington's Youth Suicide Prevention Program staff, including teachers, social workers, and other experts in adolescent development. The educator’s version of this training was created in response to requests for more integration of one-on-one intervention skills with local resource networks and school policies. During the 2012-13 school year, this training was implemented and tested through a series of workshops across the state of Washington and edited based on input from educators representing 83 school districts. Information was drawn from credible sources including the Washington State Department of Health, SAMHSA, and the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention.

Objectives 

Educators who participate in Networks for Life training will have increased:
1. Capacity to identify and appropriately respond to signs of adolescent stress, depression, and suicidal thinking;
2. Understanding of how risk factors, stress, and depression are and are not related to suicide; and,
3. Understanding of their role in youth suicide prevention.

Implementation Essentials 
  • Schools that implement Networks for Life should have protocols in place to guide response to students who may be at risk of suicide.
Contact Information 
Karyn Brownson
Director of Training
Youth Suicide Prevention Program
444 NE Ravenna Blvd., Ste. 103
Seattle, WA 98144
206-297-5922 x116
Website: www.yspp.org
Organization 
Washington Youth Suicide Prevention Program
Costs 

Program costs vary. Contact Karyn Brownson for more information.

First Posted 
Mar 3 2014

Umatter for Schools Youth Suicide Prevention

Setting 
Middle & High Schools
Type of Program 
Awareness/Outreach
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 6.5
Description 

Umatter for Schools Youth Suicide Prevention is a two-day training program that provides school teams with the knowledge and skills to develop comprehensive, asset-based approaches to suicide prevention in their schools. Teams may include teachers, administrators, counselors, and other staff, and are encouraged to bring a representative from a local mental health agency in their area. Umatter is available from Center for Health and Learning.

Program Description 

Umatter for Schools Youth Suicide Prevention is a two-day training program that provides school teams with the knowledge and skills to develop comprehensive, asset-based approaches to suicide prevention in their schools. Teams may include teachers, administrators, counselors, and other staff, and are encouraged to bring a representative from a local mental health agency in their area. The program includes gatekeeper training with an emphasis on building assets and protective factors for all youth, developing school protocols, learning to use a student curriculum, and making an action plan to implement suicide prevention strategies in the school community. Umatter also includes a public information campaign with the central message that adults matter because they can act as gatekeepers for youth who are suicidal. The campaign emphasizes that young people who are depressed or suicidal also matter because they are needed by their families, friends, and communities whether they feel that in the moment or not.

Umatter was developed following a review of several school-based suicide prevention programs to determine key concepts. Additional concepts were drawn from the American Association of Suicidology and the academic literature about suicide. The learning activities in Umatter are designed to reach the learning preferences and styles of all participants, and to ensure maximum transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to the workplace.

Objectives 

School personnel who complete the Umatter training will be able to:
1. Identify cultural factors that contribute to the stigma associated with seeking help.
2. Identify warning signs, risk factors, and protective factors for youth in distress.
3. Describe their roles and responsibilities in responding to suicidal behavior.
4. Establish school protocols for suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and suicide postvention.
5. Describe the Lifelines student curriculum and supports for the curriculum.
6. Identify possible challenges to the implementation of the Lifelines curriculum.
7. Develop a school-wide strategy to build critical connections among schools, parents, and regional support services.

Implementation Essentials 
  • Umatter includes the use of the Lifelines suicide prevention curriculum that is found in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices and in the Best Practices Registry for suicide prevention.
Contact Information 
Gwen Mousin, Operations Manager
Center for Health and Learning
28 Vernon Street, Suite 319
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Voice: 802-254-6590
Fax: 802-254-5816
Organization 
Center for Health and Learning
Costs 

Cost of two-day (6 hours per day) Umatter training is $5,000 plus travel and lodging for two trainers. Additional consultation is available at a rate of $100/hour. Individual arrangements may be possible. The Umatter Facilitator’s Guide costs $100. The participant materials, Umatter Handbook, and Umatter CD-ROM cost $75/person. Umatter public information materials including posters, brochures, and wallet cards may be purchased and customized for your audience. The Lifelines curriculum is $225 and is available from Hazelden (www.hazelden.org). A Training of Trainers in Umatter for Schools is in development. 

First Posted 
Jan 31 2014

Suicide Prevention: Supporting our Youth

Setting 
High Schools and Middle Schools
Type of Program 
Education & Training
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
13.2 (2012)
Description 

Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Youth is a one- to three-hour training developed by Samaritans for middle school and high school faculty and staff. Participants learn important information about suicide prevention, and are introduced to the concept and skills of befriending. Materials include a PowerPoint presentation, handouts, and wallet cards. Role-playing and practice modules are included for extended (2-3 hour) versions of the training. Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Youth is available at no charge in most parts of the state of Massachusetts.

Program Description 
Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Youth is a one- to three-hour training developed by Samaritans for middle school and high school faculty and staff. Participants learn important information about suicide prevention, and are introduced to the concept and skills of befriending. Materials include a PowerPoint presentation, handouts, and wallet cards. Role-playing and practice modules are included for extended (2-3 hour) versions of the training.
 
Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Youth was developed by Kelley Cunningham, Manager for Community Education and Outreach at Samaritans, who is certified by the American Association of Suicidology as a School Suicide Prevention Specialist.  She is also a registered ASIST Trainer (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).  Sources for the information given in the workshop include the American Association of Suicidology, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 
Objectives 

Educators who take the Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Youth workshop will acquire greater:
1. Knowledge of warning signs and risk factors for suicide.
2. Knowledge of protective factors against suicide.
3. Understanding of how to obtain help for students at risk.
4. Understanding of how to communicate effectively with at-risk students.

Implementation Essentials 
  • Schools that use Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Youth should have established protocols for managing and getting help for students who may be at risk. 
Contact Information 
Kelley Cunningham
Manager, Community Education & Outreach
Samaritans
41 West St., 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
617-536-2460
617-247-0207
 
Organization 
Samaritans
Costs 

Suicide Prevention: Supporting Our Youth is available at no charge in most parts of the state of Massachusetts. Contact Kelley Cunningham for more information.

First Posted 
Jan 31 2014

Creating Suicide Safety in Schools

Setting 
Middle Schools & High Schools
Type of Program 
Education & Training
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
1.1, 1.2, 2.4, 5.2, 7.1
Description 

Creating Suicide Safety in Schools (CSSS) is a one-day workshop designed for school-based interdisciplinary teams, empowering them to establish realistic short-term plans for effective suicide prevention and response planning. Participants spend time planning and problem solving for specific actions needed for suicide-safer schools. The workshop's format includes didactic presentations coupled with small workgroup discussions, checklists, group planning documents, and exposure to free and low-cost resources that meet best practice recommendations. The Creating Suicide Safety in Schools workshop is available from the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State (SPCNY). Contact SPCNY for workshop information and costs.

Program Description 

Creating Suicide Safety in Schools (CSSS) is a one-day workshop designed for school-based interdisciplinary teams, empowering them to establish realistic short-term plans for effective suicide prevention and response planning. Participants spend time planning and problem solving for specific actions needed for suicide-safer schools. The workshop's format includes didactic presentations coupled with small workgroup discussions, checklists, group planning documents, and exposure to free and low-cost resources that meet best practice recommendations and/or evidence-based practice standards. Creating Suicide Safety in Schools incorporates key aspects of the Social-Ecological Prevention Model, public health perspectives, and recommendations for school-based suicide prevention practices (e.g.. Berman, Jobes, & Silverman, 2006; Miller, 2011). Further, the workshop explores six broad categories of school-based suicide safety: (1) policies, procedures, and standardized protocols; (2) staff training; (3) promotion of student protective factors; (4) identification and reduction of student risk factors: (5) postvention planning; and (6) engagement of family and community.

To accompany the workshop, the Suicide Prevention Center of New York developed a resource binder that included public domain materials using two criteria: (1) well-researched and well-aligned with principles of the Best Practices Registry; (2) usable by school personnel for suicide prevention planning. Original material was added to introduce and organize existing materials and to fill in missing information. Evaluations of early workshops guided the refinement of materials in the binder and led to added planning worksheets, checklists, and structured activities.

Objectives 

School personnel that attend the Creating Suicide Safety in Schools workshop will be able to:
1. Review, refine, and implement school-based suicide prevention, intervention and postvention activities.
2. Create a school-specific comprehensive suicide prevention and response plan.
3. Assess suicide program and training needs.
4. Access available local and national resources for school-based suicide prevention.

Implementation Essentials 

Before the implementation of school-based suicide prevention programs, protocols for response to students who may be at risk of suicide should be developed and disseminated.

Contact Information 
Pat Breux, R. N.
Youth Suicide Prevention Specialist
Suicide Prevention Center of New York
150 Broadway, Suite 301
Menands, NY 12204
518-402-1156 (voice)
518-474-6995 (fax)
 
Organization 
Suicide Prevention Center of New York State (SPCNY)
Costs 

The Creating Suicide Safety in Schools workshop is available from the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State (SPCNY). Contact SPCNY for workshop information and costs.

First Posted 
Nov 21 2013

Journey to Wellness

Setting 
Middle Schools, High Schools, Communities
Type of Program 
Education & Training
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
2.4, 5.2 (2012)
Description 

Journey to Wellness (J2W) is an eight-week wellness program for American Indian youth 12-18 years of age. Participants receive a sequenced set of eight one-hour sessions that are framed positively toward healthy living styles while at the same time exploring risk factors, suicide prevention, and other suicide-related issues. The Journey to Wellness program manual is available from the Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre without charge.

Program Description 

Journey to Wellness (J2W) is an eight-week wellness program for American Indian youth 12-18 years of age. Participants receive a sequenced set of eight one-hour sessions that are framed positively toward healthy living styles while at the same time exploring risk factors, suicide prevention, and other suicide-related issues. The sessions are activity-oriented and designed to engage youth. Sessions topics include: relationship building, problem solving, self-esteem building, facts and myths of suicide, networking, life planning, emergency planning, and finally, a celebratory event to close out the sessions.J2W is delivered along gender and age group divisions to promote comfort and safety.

J2Wwas developed by BTC Indian Health Servicesstaff. An initial literature review of best practices was conducted. Input was sought from youth in the communities.  The initial program was piloted to female students in two communities. After pilot, focus groups were conducted with the participants. In addition, focus groups were held with male students to review the program and the potential effectiveness with this population. 

Objectives 

Students who complete the Journey to Wellness program will have:
1. Closer relationships to peers and adults in their schools.
2. Greater problem-solving skills.
3. Greater understanding of how to seek help for suicide.
4. Greater knowledge of helping resources.

Implementation Essentials 
  • Schools that use Journey to Wellness should have established protocols for how to respond to you youth who may be at risk for suicide.
Contact Information 
Ms. José Pruden
Wellness Director
Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre Inc.
P.O.Box 1658
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada S9A 3W2
Voice: 1-306-937-6700
Organization 
Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre Inc.
Costs 

The Journey to Wellness program manual is available without charge. Contact Ms. José Pruden for a copy.

First Posted 
Nov 15 2013

Suicide prevention: Facts for parents

This brief sheet provides information for parents on suicide among high school students and how parents and high schools can help prevent it.

Creator 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Publisher 
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
Date published 
2012
Full Text Online 
Yes

Beyond Rhetoric: Does It Get Better?

Stephen Russell, University of Arizona, Member, SPRC Steering Committee
Guest Columnist

Everything changed when the attention of the media was captured by several highly visible youth suicides that seemed to be directly linked to homophobic bullying. Suddenly the public was aware of LGBT youth and bullying, as well as the implications of bullying for mental health and suicide. This has been a major cultural shift from silence (arguably denial) to dramatic public, media, and celebrity attention. The good news is that people are finally paying attention to the pervasive homophobia that has been undermining the well-being of LGBT youth for generations. The dilemma with such public attention is that it can provide simplistic frames of understanding of complex challenges.

One simplification, and a dangerous one, is the idea that bullying can cause suicide. Suicide and self-harm are complex problems. Nearly all cases in which a young person thinks about or engages in suicidal behavior are the results of the complex interactions of multiple risk factors. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) points out that the term “bullycide” and sensational media coverage that suggests an oversimplified cause-and-effect relationship between bullying and suicide may undermine the ability of bullied youth to imagine positive resolutions.

Another simplification is that “it gets better.”  A single well-intentioned video with this message went viral and became a social media phenomenon, inspiring entertainment stars, politicians, and professional sports teams to create video messages of hope for LGBT youth.

With support from the AFSP, I investigated the question of whether it actually gets better. I found that suicide risk for LGBT youth seems to be highest during the teenage years. But it doesn’t just “get better.” Many youth have criticized this message. The youth-driven Make It Better Project presents an alternative to this view. LGBT teens don’t want to wait until adulthood, muddling through, assuming that the teenage years are simply, by definition, homophobic. The teen years are a time of heightened concerns about conformity, especially related to gender expression and sexuality. But these developmental changes are why we need strategies to promote discussion of issues related to gender and sexuality – as well as mental health, depression and suicide – in ways that are authentic and promote healthy development. Everyone wants to prevent bullying and suicide. We need less rhetoric and fewer catchy phrases, and more real conversations about the reality of teens’ lives.

Resources

Suicide and Bullying Issue Brief (SPRC)

Bullying and Suicide (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

Make It Better Project
 

Kognito At-Risk for High School Educators

Type 
Education & Training
Organization 
Kognito Interactive
Description 

Kognito At-Risk for High School Educators is a 1-hour, online, interactive gatekeeper training program that prepares high school teachers and other school personnel to identify, approach, and refer students who are exhibiting signs of psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. Through a self-paced, narrative-driven experience, participants build knowledge, skills, and confidence to connect at-risk students to counseling, mental health, or crisis support services. By engaging in a role-play practice conversation with fully animated and emotionally responsive student avatars that act and respond like real humans, participants learn effective communication tactics for managing these challenging conversations. The course also works to reduce stigma around mental health issues by normalizing mental health disorders and increase protective factors by improving social connectedness. Simulations are authored and delivered using Kognito's proprietary Human Interaction Game Engine, which is based on research in social cognition, neuroscience, adult learning theory, and motivational interviewing. Kognito At-Risk for High School Educators is available from Kognito Interactive for a fee.

Data source: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

This fact sheet is associated with the SPRC Training Institute course, Locating and Using Data for Suicide Prevention. It provides a description of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System or YRBSS including variables, strengths, limitations and how to access these data.

Creator 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Publisher 
Education Development Center (EDC)
Date published 
2012
Full Text Online 
Yes
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