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Schools and Suicide

By Stephen Roggenbaum, Department of Child and Family Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida

The Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide is an online resource developed by the Florida Mental Health Institute and the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of South Florida. The Guide provides a framework for schools to assess their existing or proposed suicide prevention efforts (through a series of checklists), provides resources and information that school administrators can use to enhance or add to their existing program, and assist them in the development of a framework to work in partnership with community resources and families.

Information is offered in a series of research-based issue briefs, many corresponding to a specific checklist. Each brief offers a rationale for the importance of the specific topic together with a brief overview of the key points. The briefs also offer specific strategies based on research literature and best practices that aid in reducing the incidence of suicide, with references that schools can use to explore these issues in greater detail.

The Youth Suicide Prevention School-based Guide’s Checklists are included on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Best Practice Registry for Suicide Prevention. The Guide has been downloaded by individuals across the nation, US territories, tribal communities, and internationally.

A resource section with helpful links is included in The Guide. The Guide provides information to assist schools in the development of a framework to work in partnership with families and community resources. The issue briefs and resource/links section, their content and recommendations will continually evolve as new research is conducted, the best available evidence is evaluated, and prevention programs are utilized and tested. The Department of Child and Family Studies will release updated components of The Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide periodically (next release: fall 2011).  Please visit: http://theguide.fmhi.usf.edu

 

The Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide:

•  Identifies and defines the elements of a comprehensive, school-based suicide prevention program.

•  Examines the scientific literature to determine which of these elements have been proven to work in reducing the incidence of suicide.

•  Contains checklists/self-assessment instruments that may be completed by schools to evaluate the adequacy of their suicide prevention programs.

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