Equal attention to Learning Supports is essential so that:
- Every student will demonstrate academic achievement and be prepared for success after high school;
- Every student will be supported by highly prepared and effective teachers and school leaders; and
- Every school will offer a safe and healthy learning environment for all students.
To request a copy of the model youth suicide awareness and prevention policy that is required pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/2-3.163, amended by P.A. 99-443, please email the Illinois Association of School Boards: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Suicide Awareness & Prevention Policy Request.
For more information, please visit: http://www.iasb.com/law/sdprevention.cfm.
Contact the CARES line at 1-800-345-9049 if there are indicators of imminent danger. The Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS) program is available for children and adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis.
Suicide among youth is a significant public health problem and is the third leading cause of death among 10-24 year olds. Schools can play a critical role in suicide prevention.
Risk factors correlated with suicide include:
- Prior suicide attempt
- Co-occurring mental and alcohol or substance abuse disorders
- Family history of suicide
- Parental psychopathology
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- Easy access to lethal methods, especially guns
- Exposure to the suicide of a significant person
- History of physical or sexual abuse
- Impaired parent-child relationships
- Life stressors, especially those involving loss
- Lack of involvement in school and/or work ("drifting")
Suicide Prevention strategies schools can implement include:
- Promoting social, emotional, behavioral, and academic competencies
- Providing a safe, caring, responsive, and participatory school climate
- Engaging parents
- Intervening early when students need additional mental health supports
- Making appropriate referrals if necessary supports are beyond the capacity of school personnel
- Contacting the CARES line at 1-800-345-9049 if there are indicators of imminent danger. The Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS) program is available for children and adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis.
- Implementing a coordinated crisis response when a suicide occurs.
- National: SAMHSA Prevention Resources
- SAMHSA Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Suicide screening in schools, primary care and emergency departments
- The Jason Foundation
- Youth Mental Health First Aid Flyer
- Webinar on Youth Suicide Prevention Education April 21, 2015
- AAP Mental Health Toolkit for Primary Care Physicians
- IL Dept of Public Health Suicide Prevention Resources
- A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools
- 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results for Illinois Released (CDC - June 2016)
The YRBS monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among high school students—behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV infection; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and physical inactivity.
Many high school students engage in behaviors that place them at risk for the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. YRBSS data are used widely to compare the prevalence of health behaviors among subpopulations of students; assess trends in health behaviors over time; monitor progress toward achieving 21 national health objectives for Healthy People 2020 and one of the 26 leading health indicators; provide comparable state and large urban school district data; and help develop and evaluate school and community policies, programs, and practices designed to decrease health-risk behaviors and improve health outcomes among youth. Click here to view national data.
In Illinois contact Jessica Gerdes, principal consultant, school health at JGerdes@isbe.net