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Suicide is a significant and complex public health problem in Colorado; in 2012 our state ranked 8th among states, with a total of 1,053 Coloradans dying of suicide that year. Our state consistently ranks among the top ten states in the country in terms of suicide numbers. When unintentional deaths are analyzed by type (i.e. falls, drowning) suicide is the leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 44. Those who die at a young age represent a tremendous loss for their families as well as for the
The 2011 Health Kids Survey, completed by students in grades 9 through 12 in public schools across the Colorado, found that: 14.8 percent of students reported seriously considering attempting suicide during the past 12 months; and 6.1 percent said they had attempted suicide one or more times during the past 12 months. Suicide is not an uncommon occurrence among our students. Since young people spend a tremendous amount of time at school, these institutions can play a central role in preventing suicide. Those who can impact a student’s wellbeing include teachers, counselors, building administrators, coaches, bus drivers, and others who might have a significant connection with a troubled student.
In 2006 the legislature passed HB06 1098, which broadened professional development options for public school educators and allowed them to receive credit for suicide prevention education programs. It did not, however, require teachers to take suicide-specific credits, and made no mention of providing training for others who work in schools and who may also be in a position to help prevent a suicide. By contrast, this website is broad in scope and is intended to serve as a resource not only for teachers, but for all those who might help prevent suicide in schools.
The development of this online resource is the result of a joint venture between the Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP) in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado (SPCC). The purpose of this compilation is to provide useable information about suicide prevention in schools which can be accessed by any concerned person who works in a school setting (i.e. teachers, psychologists, principals, students themselves), and to help them better understand the risk factors, signs and symptoms of suicide. Some of these resources help people know how to respond to suicidal thoughts and behavior and where to seek help when a student is suicidal. There are also links to materials that can help a school community cope with the aftermath of suicide (this is called “postvention.”) Because suicide is a complex problem, no one or two strategies can be successful in ending the epidemic of suicide among our youth. Hopefully, the online resources listed in this compilation can provide the pieces needed to put together a strategy that fits your school or your school district.
A considerable number of resources have been identified to help teachers address the issue of suicide in their classrooms; these include curricula materials, movies, videos and DVD’s. Within each section (of this website) there are materials that have been developed within Colorado, materials that have been developed at the national level, and those from other states. Further information can be accessed by contacting the organizations listed in General Resources (Section 5), Other Helpful Resources (Section 8), and Advocacy Groups (Section 10). Practices or programs that are labeled “best practices” or “evidence based” means that these (programs) have been determined to be effective; these are considered to be the strongest of existing strategies in preventing suicide. Trainings that can help people be prepared to respond to suicidal persons (especially Safe Talk, QPR and ASIST) are listed in Section 3. The scope of resources listed here is intentionally broad, allowing the reader to select materials that seem most relevant or useful. Our aim is to provide a variety of tools to help prevent suicide in our schools.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION 1: RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
a. GUIDES AND TOOLKITS FOR EDUCATORS AND STUDENTS
b. COURSES AND TRAINING MATERIALS FOR TEACHERS
c. SLIDE SETS AND PRESENTATIONS FOR EDUCATORS
d. MOVIES, VIDEOS AND DVDs FOR EDUCATORS AND STUDENTS
e. BOOKS FOR EDUCATORS
SECTION 2: SCHOOL-BASED SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAMS AND MATERIALS
SECTION 3: SUICIDE GATEKEEPING PROGRAMS
SECTION 4: BULLYING PREVENTION
SECTION 5: GENERAL RESOURCES ON SUICIDE AND SUICIDE PREVENTION
SECTION 6: COLORADO RESOURCES
SECTION 7: SUICIDE PREVENTION BEST PRACTICES REGISTRY
SECTION 8: OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES
SECTION 9: CRISIS LINES
SECTION 10: ADVOCACY GROUPS
SECTION 11: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
This website resource was created by a collaboration between the Office of Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado.