Death by suicide is the second leading cause of death among U.S. youth age 15-24 (2022, NAMI) and nearly 1 in 5 high school students reports serious thoughts of suicide. We all play a role in identifying, responding to and preventing suicide. The Resource Center has a variety of webinars, trainings and partner resources to assist your school and district with your suicide awareness and prevention planning.
This training is designed to meet the basic awareness needs of any and all school staff. Emphasis is on recognizing warning signs, understanding what it means to create a caring and competent school community, identifying the protocols in place at school to support a student with thoughts of suicide, and making a warm hand-off.
Families, caregivers, and schools play a vital role in suicide prevention for young people. It Is important to check in regularly and talk about mental health with loved ones so they are aware that the support is there if they start to struggle.
Some groups may be at an increased risk for suicide including those exploring their sexual and gender identities, black youth, immigrants and youth of color as well as those experiencing bullying.
Myth: Asking a person if they are suicidal will make things worse, or make them think about suicide.
Fact: Talking openly about mental health helps decrease the stigma and encourages others to reach out in times of need.
There are notable differences in the way some children express their sadness and suicidal thoughts. Some children may show their emotions outwardly (crying, yelling, acting out) while it may be more typical for some youth to internalize their concerns and fears rather than externalizing them (self doubt, shame, self hate). Signs/symptoms, changes in functioning
Remember: Engaging in Self Injurious Behaviors do not necessarily relate to suicidality
Things to Do
Are you having thoughts of suicide?
Are you thinking about killing yourself?
When do you plan to do this?
Do you have a plan?
Have you consumed drugs or alcohol?
Do you have access to (weapons, medications, sharp objects, etc)? If so, remove dangerous items from their environment
Things to Avoid
If you or someone you know is in a crisis, CALL 1-800- 273-8255 or TEXT “GOT5” to 741741 for immediate assistance. Learn more about using the lifeline by clicking here.
For Additional Information
I called for help – What do emergency responders need to know?
When calling for support during a crisis, it is helpful for responders to have the following information:
To learn more, visit MHANYS Getting Help.