Frequently Asked Questions About Suicide Prevention

Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 20-34. Facts About Suicide | Suicide Prevention | CDC

The first step is for the district to adopt a school policy identifying the critical prevention, intervention, and postvention components. An example is available on the NDE School Safety website in the Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide. Nebraska Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan (2022-2025) NDE Suicide Resource Guide

We are reminded to take every sign seriously. The first step is ensuring the student is not left alone and that parents are notified. A risk screener can then be administered to determine the next steps. These steps should be clearly outlined in the district’s procedures. Examples are available in the NDE Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide.

School districts can decide from among these four trainings, with detailed information on the NDE School Safety website:

Numerous evidence-based curricula are currently available, and one such curriculum highlighted by NDE’s research is the Hazelden Lifelines curriculum. What sets this curriculum apart is its inclusivity, offering lessons tailored for elementary, middle, and high school students, along with specialized training components for staff and parents.

The Hazelden Lifelines® trilogy, comprising Lifelines Prevention, Lifelines Intervention, and Lifelines Postvention, constitutes a comprehensive school-based suicide prevention program. This program adopts a three-pronged perspective to address youth suicide. The overarching objective is to establish a secure learning environment where all suicides are prevented. Recognizing the importance of equipping school staff to identify and respond to potentially at-risk students, Hazelden Lifelines also emphasizes the need for a thoughtful response in the unfortunate event of a suicide occurrence.

The Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) screeners are among the evidence-based tools available at no charge. Information is available in the Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide.

Staff members with a mental health background, such as school counselors, social workers, LMHP, school psychologists, or school nurses, would be good candidates.

Planning for re-entry support should begin while the student is absent, including scheduling a meeting with parents and developing a safety plan. Teachers should also be provided strategies for effectively supporting students as they return. The Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide provides a training module and examples for being proactive in supporting students during re-entry.

Your school’s procedures should outline steps for how to respond following a suicide. The procedures will include utilizing your school’s trained crisis response/Psychological First Aid Training(PFA-S) team and mental health professionals to provide intensive support. The Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide provides resources to assist in developing this process. The procedures must be clearly defined and ready to equip school personnel for an immediate, effective response.

Updated January 23, 2024 12:25pm