As you may be aware, two Parkland students and one Sandy Hook parent have died by suicide in the past week. While exact cause and triggers are unknown, their deaths are in “proximity” to the anniversaries of the Parkland shootings and the March for Our Lives protests, as well as the extensive media and social media attention to the New Zealand shootings.
Suicide is a complex dynamic that requires multifaceted prevention efforts, including attention from schools, families, and communities. Importantly, excessive media coverage of these suicide deaths could lead to further contagion. We encourage you to work within your school communities to be especially vigilant to students (or staff) who may be vulnerable. This includes:
- Touching base with vulnerable students directly to check on their well-being
- Conveying to students, staff, and parents the messages that there is hope and how to get help
- Sharing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Alerting parents to be attentive and vigilant regarding any changes in their children’s behavior or mood
- Sharing information with staff and families on risk factors and warning signs
- Alerting crisis prevention/response teams at your schools to be attentive and vigilant regarding any rumors regarding students’ behaviors
- Reviewing risk assessment and intervention procedures and protocols
- Monitoring social media
The National Association of School Psychologists has suicide prevention resources online to share with students, staff and families. These include:
You can also find additional resources on the OSBA website.