Frequently Asked Questions About Suicide Prevention

Why should Nebraska schools be concerned about suicide? Suicide is a leading cause of death in all age groups, including the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds.
What is the first step in implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention approach for schools? The first step is for the district to adopt a school policy that identifies the key prevention, intervention, and postvention components. An example is available on the NDE School Safety website in the Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide.
What steps should the school take if a student is showing suicidal ideation? We are reminded to take every sign seriously. The first step is to make sure that the student is not left alone and parents are notified. A risk screener can then be administered to determine next steps. These steps should be clearly outlined in the district’s procedures. Examples are available in the NDE Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide.
Where can I find information and resources about suicide prevention? NDE School Safety has compiled a wealth of resources. Visit the website to find the Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide that contains a wide assortment of resources.
What suicide prevention trainings meet the one-hour staff requirement of LB 923? School districts can decide from among these four trainings, with detailed information on the NDE School Safety website:

  • The Jason Foundation (select from several one-hour options)
  • Kognito
  • Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide
  • Prevention, Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)
What are evidence-based suicide curriculums that would be suitable for all age groups? There are a number of evidence-based curriculums available. One curriculum that NDE’s research identified is the Hazelden Lifelines curriculum, which stands out since it provides lessons for elementary, middle and high school, as well as training components for staff and parents.
What are examples of evidence-based suicide risk screeners available for school mental health clinicians? The SBQ-R and the Columbia screeners are among the evidence-based tools available at no charge. Information is available in the Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide.
Which school staff members typically administer the risk screener? Staff members who have a mental health background would be good candidates, such as school counselor, social worker, LMHP, school psychologist, or school nurse.
What can schools do to support students who are returning to school following a suicide related absence? 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.
What should schools do following a death by suicide? Your school’s procedures should outline steps for how to respond following a suicide. The procedures will include how to utilize your school’s trained crisis response/PFA team and mental health professionals to provide intensive support. The Nebraska Suicide Resource Guide provides resources to assist in developing this process. It is important that the procedures are clearly defined and ready to go to equip school personnel for an immediate, effective response.
Updated April 18, 2022 5:08pm