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The district will address suicide awareness and prevention through the following policy components:

  1. Crisis response designations
  2. Crisis response procedures
  3. Procedures for parent involvement
  4. Community resources available to students, parents, patrons and employees
  5. Responding to suicidal behavior or death by suicide in the school community
  6. Suicide prevention and response protocol education for staff
  7. Publication of policy

Response Designations

All school employees have the responsibility to act upon information regarding attempted, threatened or suspected suicidal acts by following school procedures. In addition, school employees are required by law to make a formal contact with designated school personnel, i.e. the building administrators Dean, Principal, Student Support services, and Counselor. They shall also communicate the information to a parent/guardian/family and refer them to an appropriate agency or professional services. Costs of these services are the responsibility of the parent/guardian/family/staff member.

The issue of confidentiality does not apply in the event of a life-threatening situation.

Response Procedures & Procedures for Parent Involvement

  • Any indication of a potential suicide (such as a comment, gesture, self-harm behavior), whether personally witnessed or received by report from another, will be taken seriously and will be reported to a staff member trained in administering a Risk Assessment (counselor, trained teacher or school administrator).
  • The student will not be left alone at any time, school personnel shall ensure the student is under constant supervision from the moment of suicide becomes a concern.

    If the student is unable to be located, the parents/guardians must be informed, and a building designee. If a building designee cannot be located, contact emergency service.
  • A member of the crisis response team, the building administrator or his/her designee shall reach out to the parents/guardians of a student identified as being at risk of suicide to consult with them about the risk assessment of their student, to make them aware of community resources, and to discuss how to best support the student’s mental well-being and safety.

    If the parent refuses to cooperate or if there is any doubt regarding the student’s safety, local mental service providers and/or law enforcement may need to be engaged, and a report may need to be made to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.

Contact with a parent concerning risk of suicide will be documented in writing.

  • Risk Assessment (when applicable) is completed by a trained professional. Please note that the Risk Assessment is not a diagnostic tool since suicide is a behavior rather than a medical diagnosis. These tools are also not predictive as there is no tool that can be demonstrated to predict suicide. Rather, the Risk Assessment can identify the most common risk factors known to be associated with suicide in young people. The tool provides the school administration with an overview of risk, allowing this person to use their best judgment call as to the level of risk for imminent suicide. Furthermore, the Risk Assessment provides documentation to be shared with outside mental health professionals for the purposes of evaluating the student’s level of safety and providing support.
  • Implement interventions based on the level of risk. In the event of moderate to high risk, a safety plan will be developed immediately, the student will be monitored until care is assumed by a responsible adult/parent, Behavioral Health Response (BHR) may be contacted for an on-site assessment and/or a student may be sent to the hospital emergency room for further evaluation. In the event of no to low risk, a safety plan should still be developed, and the parent/guardian informed of the event. The student may be referred for additional mental health services.
  • Follow-up will include:
  1. Plan for student’s transition back to school.
  2. A student’s re-entry into the school system following a Risk Assessment will include the following:
  3. A mandatory after-care plan meeting will be held for the returning student by the counselor or school personnel. The Safety Plan will be reviewed, and support systems discussed, as well as coping skills, risk management and any changes in medication.
  4. If permitted, school staff will be notified of safety concerns and recommended supports.

**A student’s re-entry into the school system following a suicide attempt will include a mandatory after-care plan meeting with both the returning student and his/her parent/guardian.

Every effort will be made to assist the parent/guardian in identifying community resources that provide the appropriate care.

  • In the event of a sudden death/suicide by a student, communications on how to address students, staff, and parents will be handled by the Community Relations Director according to district communications protocol.

Education for Staff

All district employees will receive information annually regarding this policy and the district’s protocol for suicide awareness, prevention and response. The importance of suicide prevention, recognition of suicide protective and risk factors, strategies to strengthen school connectedness and building specific response procedures will be highlighted.

Such information shall include the following:

  • Current trends in youth mental health, well-being and suicide prevention and awareness
  • Warning signs that indicate a student may be at risk of suicide
  • The impact of mental health issues
  • Communication to students regarding concerns about safety and asking for help
  • Understanding limitations and boundaries for giving help and techniques to practice self-care
  • Identification of key school personnel who are competent to help students at risk of escalated distress and suicide

All district staff will participate in professional development regarding suicide awareness and prevention.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Behavioral Health Response (BHR)1-800-811-4760
St. Louis City Youth Connection Hotline(314) 485-4635
(844) 336-2435 Toll Free
*TEXT: 2TALK to 31658
Provident Crisis Line314-647-4357
Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ ages 13-24)1-866-488-7386
*Kids Under Twenty One (KUTO)1-888-644-KUTO (5886)

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