Suicide

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Helpines

Colorado Crisis and Support Line

  • 1-844-493-TALK (1-844-493-8255)

Metro Crisis Line

  • 1-888-885-1222

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  • 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • National Spanish Speaking Suicide Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK *Press 2 (1-800-273-8255 *Press 2)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, TTY 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
  • National LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline, 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386)

New Youth Suicide Report: Data through an Equity Lens The Ultimate Guide to Incident Management for Higher Education (PDF – 2.1 MB)
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently released a new report: "Suicide among Youth in Colorado, 2013-2017: Ages 10-18." The report includes summaries of demographic characteristics, trends, and life and situational circumstances most frequently associated with youth suicide deaths in Colorado. Its purpose is to inform prevention and intervention efforts by agencies interested in decreasing the impact of youth suicide.

Suicide Issue Brief

In an effort to prevent suicide, it is important to understand that students can experience suicidality in different ways. Suicidality can increase when a student experiences a painful loss, life event, or change that makes it difficult to cope. Although not everyone who dies by suicide exhibits observable warning signs, the majority of people do express some sign of suicidal ideation to someone else. Learning how to identify warning signs can help prevent suicide attempts. This document is produced in collaboration by Advancing IDEAS for Health and RMC Health with support from The Colorado Health Foundation. Suicide Issue Brief.The Ultimate Guide to Incident Management for Higher Education (PDF – 2.2 MB)

NEW -- Youth-led Video on Suicide Prevention in Schools

Partners for Children’s Mental Health in collaboration with the Mental Health Youth Action Board (YAB) at Children’s Hospital Colorado has developed youth-led video on suicide prevention in schools that would drive home a message in a powerful, memorable, and authentic way. This video will now be incorporated into the trainings delivered as part of PCMH’s efforts to increase the capacity of Colorado high schools to effectively identify, intervene, and support students at risk for suicide. The aim is that school professionals — from counselors to coaches to teachers — will feel encouraged to approach students and start a conversation about how they’re doing. Partners for Children’s Mental Health has also created a discussion guide to help school administrators and leaders discuss the video with staff after sharing it. If you have questions or want to learn more, reach out to the PCMH team at info@pcmh.org


Tribal Youth

Transforming Tribal Communities: Indigenous Perspectives on Suicide Prevention

SPRC is excited to announce the release of a new video series, Transforming Tribal Communities: Indigenous Perspectives on Suicide Prevention. This series includes six- to eight-minute webinar clips with expert advice on addressing the root causes of suicide and mental health issues in American Indian and Alaska Native communities by drawing on community strengths. Presenters show how culturally relevant suicide prevention strategies endorsed by community members can lead to long-lasting change.

Native American Heritage Month Special Issue

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, SPRC is pleased to bring you a special issue of the Weekly Spark featuring a compilation of resources for tribal audiences. We hope you find it useful!

Suicide Surveillance Strategies for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities 

This report summarizes findings and recommendations from SPRC's exploration of suicide surveillance among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities across the country. If you work in suicide surveillance, we invite you to read the report to learn about the challenges specific to tribal populations and how to address them. Practitioners already working with AI/AN communities can use the report to develop practical and culturally appropriate suicide surveillance strategies tailored to each community.

This success story describes how Native Americans for Community Action, Inc. (NACA) partnered with northern Arizona schools to implement Coping and Support Training (CAST) for Native youth. Learn how this evidence-based program is helping to enhance life skills and resilience and promote social connectedness and support among students--critical parts of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.

Preventing Suicide in Yup'ik Youth

A community-based intervention that promotes culturally generated reasons for life and sobriety may be a useful tool to protect Alaska Native youth from suicide risk, particularly when implemented at a greater intensity (i.e., when youth participated in a larger number of intervention activities or modules). Allen, J., Rasmus, S. M., Fok, C. C. T., Charles, B., Henry, D., & Qungasvik Team. (2018). Multi-level cultural intervention for the prevention of suicide and alcohol use risk with Alaska Native youth: A nonrandomized comparison of treatment intensity. Prevention Science, 19(2), 174-185.

What People Get Wrong About Suicides on Tribal Lands - HuffPost

Native Americans are at higher risk for suicide than the general population, but suicide rates vary widely across tribal communities. That variation is important to keep in mind, according to Doreen Bird, an expert on tribal mental health. Each Native community has different mental health challenges and ways of coping with them. Bird recommends that researchers get to know these differences, as well as the specific cultural context of each tribal group, such as their views on illness and death. Involving Native people in prevention efforts can help ensure programs leverage local resources to meet the needs of the community. For example, in Bird's New Mexico Kewa Pueblo Tribe, spirituality and family are key sources of support. "As outsiders trying to make an impact, it behooves us to look at strengths and resilience that lie within each community," said Bird.


Colorado School Safety Resource Center Created Suicide Prevention Materials

Model School District Suicide Prevention Policy

  • NASP partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the Trevor Project to update the Model School Policy, a comprehensive guidebook for school administrators and policymakers. The guidebook contains best practices in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention policies for K-12 schools. Watch Webinar

  • Read the full Model School Suicide Prevention Policy press release here.

Resources for Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention - A Guide for Schools (Compiled by CSSRC

  • This guide includes a variety of resources that address suicide prevention and intervention for youth. It is a compilation of information and not an endorsement of any specific program or services.
  • This guide provides information resources for further investigation by a district and/or school before implementation in their community. Any program should be considered with adequate staff training and available school and community intervention resources. This information was updated in June 2019 and may be subject to change.

New -- Preventing Suicide: The Role of High School Teachers

  • As a teacher, you have an important role to play in preventing suicide. You have daily contact with many young people, some of whom have problems that could result in serious injury or even death by suicide. You are therefore in a position to notice what students say, do, and write, and take action when you suspect a student may be at risk of self-harm.

New -- Preventing Suicide: The Role of High School Mental Health Providers

  • As a high school mental health provider, you have an important role to play. You are in a key position to:

  1. Observe students’ behavior and act when you suspect that a student may be at risk for suicide

  2. Provide expertise, support, and information to teachers and other staff, students, and parents/legal guardians who may notice that a student is struggling

  3. Determine the next steps to take regarding a student’s safety and treatment

New -- Alcohol and Drug Misusue and Suicide and the Millennial Generation - a Devastating Impact

  • In 2017, more than 152,000 Americans died from alcohol- and drug-induced fatalities and suicide. That’s the highest number ever recorded and more than twice as many as in 1999. The largest number of these deaths, almost half, were the result of drug overdoses—more than the peak annual total from HIV, guns, or car crashes. Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust have called for immediate and sustained attention and investment in a National Resilience Strategy to address this rising death toll.

CSSRC Update: Youth Suicide Prevention: How to Recognize Signs and What to Do

  • This brief video provides tips on how to recognize signs that a youth may be suicidal and outlines the primary steps to take if you suspect a youth is suicidal. Features Anna Gisetti of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center

A Media Guide on the Reporting of School Tragedies

  • Created by the Colorado School Safety Resource Center in October 2014
  • This guide summarizes the copy cat effect that media coverage can have on suicides and school shootings. Tips for covering school tragedies responsibly are presented.

Student Suicide: Best Practice Recommendations Working Group

  •  Student Suicide: Best Practice Recommendations Working Group Meeting Notes – January 26, 2018. In January 2018, a group of district and community mental health professionals spent an entire day reviewing the suicide protocols within their districts and making recommendations for any schools in addressing suicide. Notes from that meeting including links to resources that the group was willing to share and which the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) identified.  If you have any questions about this document, please contact the CSSRC for more information.

Youth Suicide Risk Factors and Warning Signs

  • Created by the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (Updated: April 2020)

Organizing A School Crisis Response 2014

  • A checklist of considerations for responding to a school crisis event.

Other Suicide Materials

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) Toolkit 

  • The Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) Toolkit is a free resource for medical settings (emergency department, inpatient medical/surgical units, outpatient clinics/primary care) that can help nurses or physicians successfully identify youth at risk for suicide. The ASQ is a set of four screening questions that takes 20 seconds to administer. In an NIMH study, a “yes” response to one or more of the four questions identified 97% of youth (aged 10 to 21 years) at risk for suicide. By enabling early identification and assessment of young patients at high risk for suicide, the ASQ toolkit can play a key role in suicide prevention.

After a Suicide Loss: A Toolkit for Schools

  • Produced by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), 2011
  • A free resource to help schools cope in the aftermath of a suicide.  Developed in consultation with national experts, this toolkit is a highly-practical resource for schools facing real-time crises, and is applicable for diverse populations and communities.  It includes general guidelines for action, do’s and don’ts, templates and sample materials, and covers topics such as Crisis Response, Working with the Community, Memorialization, Social Media, Suicide Contagion and Bringing in Outside Help.

Briefing Statement for Educators and Mental Health Professionals on the "Momo Challenge". 

  • View and download briefing statement from IASP and SAVE regarding the "Momo Challenge" that has been identified as a suicide contagion risk factor. Here.
  • See also a sample letter to be sent to parents here. 

Community Conversations to Inform Youth Suicide Prevention (CO Attorney General)

  • Report from the Colorado Attorney General's Office on a study done of four Colorado counties with high rates of suicide across every age group. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • As part of the injury prevention unit, the CDC provides research and information about suicide prevention.
  • Bullying in any capacity-as a victim, perpetrator, or both-and suicidal ideation and behavior are significantly related.

    This key finding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s systematic review and meta-analysis of 47 studies published today in Pediatrics.

    Youth who bully others and who are bullied themselves were particularly likely to report suicidal ideation and behavior compared to youth who were only perpetrators or only victims.

  • The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What it Means for Schools, published April 2014
  • Youth Suicide

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Children's Safety Network (CSN)

  • Children’s Safety Network National Resource Center for Injury and Violence Prevention is dedicated to working with state, territorial and community Maternal & Child Health and Injury & Violence prevention programs to create an environment where all children and youth are safe and healthy. We work with states and territories to infuse knowledge, expertise, and leadership to reduce injury, hospitalization, disability and death for all children and youth.
  • Suicide Prevention

Child Trends

  • Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that provides valuable information and insights on the well-being of children and youth. For more than 30 years, policymakers, funders, educators and service providers in the U.S. and around the world have relied on our data and analyses to improve policies and programs serving children and youth. Our team of experts brings together a range of educational, work, policy and cultural experiences to provide cutting-edge research on issues affecting children from birth to early adulthood. Our work is supported by foundations; federal, state and local government agencies; and by nonprofit organizations.
  • Transitioning to Adulthood: The Role of Adolescent Depression and Suicidal Ideation, November 2014

Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office)

  •  The Signs Within: Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness. This document describes a variety of suicide prevention and awareness training programs, refutes some common myths, and provides concepts, resources, and promising practices for law enforcement executives. It also discusses strategies such as peer counseling, mentoring, employee assistance programs, and the use of staff psychologists. 

Developmental Disabilities and Suicide

Douglas County Public Safety Videos

  • Released December 2012 by Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Douglas County School District, and Douglas County Government 
  • "Signs" and "Tape" for teens
  • "Cowboy" and "Lost" for men
  • "Tug of War" for women

Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S)

  • The Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S) is a center-without-walls that promotes a public health approach to suicide prevention through a collaborative process of research, outreach, and education. Our goal is to draw suicide prevention directly into the domain of public health and injury prevention and link it to complementary approaches to mental health.
  • The Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S) is a collaboration of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and the Education Development Center (EDC). Both organizations have extensive experience in addressing suicide and suicide prevention. URMC directs the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (CSPS), and EDC operates the national Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Long Beach Middle School. 

Mayo Clinic

    • Brief video produced in June 2013.
    • This positive music video encourages troubled teens to communicate with an adult for support and depicts how teens can talk to adults in a variety of situations.
    • Brief video published in June 2013.
    • Describes common signs that a teen is considering suicide and provides encouragement for communicating directly and immediately for support and safety. It also includes suggestions for what to say to a teen who may be at risk for suicide and ways to keep them safe.

Journal of Adolescent Health

Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention: Model Language, Commentary, and Resources  

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

  • "13 Reasons Why" Netflix Series: Considerations for Educators
  • NEW Suicide Contagion and Clusters—Part 2: What Can a School Psychologist Do? n Part 1 of this series (Lieberman, Poland, & Niznik, 2019), we discussed the phenomena of contagion and identified adolescents as the most susceptible age group for imitating suicidal behavior. Beyond specifically suicidal behavior, we may be underestimating the full impact of being exposed to a death by suicide—a contention supported by Cerel and colleagues (2018), who found that of approximately 135 people exposed to a death by suicide, as many as 30% found it to be a life-changing event. Ultimately, the primary goal of postvention is to identify those now at risk and prevent the next suicide. Part 2 of this series focuses on limiting contagion and highlights the many potential roles of the school psychologist in suicide postvention. Frequently asked questions (FAQ) are addressed in a special section at the end of the article.

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

  • National Recommendations for Depicting Suicide. Created in collaboration with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Entertainment Industries Council. The recommendations, which were informed by both representatives from the entertainment industry and the suicide prevention field, aim to help members of the entertainment industry - content creators, scriptwriters, producers - tell more balanced and authentic stories involving suicide and suicide prevention.

National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, 2012

  • The revised strategy emphasizes the role every American can play in protecting friends, family members, and colleagues from suicide. It also provides guidance that takes into account nearly a decade of research and other advancements in the field since the last strategy was published. The strategy includes 13 goals and 60 objectives across four strategic directions: wellness and empowerment; prevention services; treatment and support services; and surveillance, research, and evaluation.
  • The audience for the strategy includes prevention professionals, researchers, community coalitions, educators, media, policymakers, program planners, administrators, project managers, and public health professionals, among others.

National Suicide Prevention Campaign for Teens, ReachOut.com

  • created by SAMHSA, Ad Council, and Inspire USA Foundation
  • Suicide is the Third Leading Cause of Death Among 15- to 24-Year-Olds
  • We Can Help Us campaign empowers teens by reminding them that there are ways to get through whatever problems they face.
  • Web site features stories from teens, as well as tips to help cope with tough issues and links to resources, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, for teens who need immediate help. The PSAs will be distributed widely in the national media this week.
  • How You Can Support the Campaign

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you or someone you know needs help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255). With more than 130 crisis centers across the country, the mission is to provide immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services.
  • This site provides materials to spread the word about the Lifeline. These materials can easily be customized with your organization's logo and contact information.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

  • Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: A National Survey
    • Published February 2009. The primary goals of this first national survey on juvenile suicides in confinement (juvenile detention centers, reception centers, training schools, ranches, camps, and farms) were to determine the extent and distribution of such suicides and to obtain descriptive data on the demographic characteristics of each victim, incident characteristics, and the characteristics of the juvenile facility in which the suicide occurred.
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth
    • Published July 2014. This bulletin examines rates of suicidal ideation and behaviors, the relationship between suicide attempts and psychiatric disorders, and differences by gender and race/ethnicity.

Our Nation's Young and Suicide 

  • By Lisa Wright, PT, PhD. Professor, Purdue Global, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. 
  • This resource provides review of the urgent need to prevent youth suicide, and offers tools in warning sign recognition, and other tips for educators. 

Recent Victimization Exposure and Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents

  • Published in October, 2012 in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
  • A team that studied the association between victimization and suicidal ideation concluded that it is important to assess young people who are believed to be at risk for suicidal ideation for a history of recent victimization and to assess young people who have histories of recent victimization for suicide risk. The team explored the relationship between victimization over the past year with self-reported suicidal ideation in the past month in children 10-17 years of age.
  • The data analysis revealed that four aggregate categories of victimization experiences by young people are associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation:
    • Peer victimization
    • Sexual assault
    • Maltreatment by a caregiver (including physical and sexual maltreatment, as well as neglect)
    • Witnessing family violence

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide (pdf) | en Español

  • The Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide were developed by leading experts in suicide prevention and in collaboration with several international suicide prevention and public health organizations, schools of journalism, media organizations and key journalists as well as Internet safety experts. The recommendations are based on more than 50 international studies on suicide contagion.
  • Media and online coverage of suicide should be informed by using best practices. Some suicide deaths may be newsworthy. However, the way media covers suicide can influence behavior negatively by contributing to contagion or positively by encouraging help-seeking.

Recommendations for Suicide Prevention and Related Risk Behaviors

  • By Mary Margaret Kerr, Ed.D., Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychology in Education, and Administrative Policy Studies; Founding Co-Director, Services for Teens at Risk for Suicide (STAR-Center), University of Pittsburgh
  • Watch a recorded livestream of Dr. Kerr discussing this report at the Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention Symposium, November 29, 2012.

Recorded Livestream of Dr. Russell Copelan discussing Youth Nonideation Suicidality

Responding to a Cry for Help: Best Practices for Online Technologies

SPRC Resources for Parents, Guardians, and Families

  • This sheet lists a selection of websites and online information sheets that have suicide prevention resources for parents, guardians, and other family members. The resources provide guidance on talking with your child if you think he or she may be at risk for suicide and on coping with a suicide attempt or death. A few of the resources also discuss how you can take action at teh school and community level to provent suicide. 
     

Save a Friend: Tips for Teens to Prevent Suicide

Second Wind Fund

  • Second Wind Fund offers actual treatment services to at-risk children and youth. Second Wind Fund has built an innovative program to urgently match children and youth ages 19 and younger, who are at risk of suicide, with a licensed therapist in their local community.
  • Referrals are typically made by school mental health staff (School Counselors, Social Workers or Psychologists) and sometimes by other mental health professionals. Home schooled youth or those no longer attending school are also eligible. If the referred youth is at risk for suicide and does not have adequate insurance or the means to pay for the necessary mental health treatment, the cost of therapy is paid for by Second Wind Fund.
  • Eligibility Requirements and Making a Referral

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS)

  • The mission of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide is to reduce the number of youth suicides and attempted suicides by encouraging public awareness through the development and promotion of educational training programs.
  • Teens (SPTS). General information about youth suicide prevention. With links to additional SPTS resources.
  • FACTS - Warning Signs of Scuicide (SPTS) PDF.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SUDDEN DEATH: Psychiatric and Suicide Risks Among Student Athletes - Keeping Your Players Safe: Coaches' Call to Action

  • Archived webinar presented by Well Aware on May 8, 2013. Supported by the Wyoming Department of Health and Prevention Management Organization.
  • This webinar addresses emerging issues in sports psychology and youth suicide prevention among student athletes and the athletic community.
  • Features: Chris Carr, PhD, HSPP; Aaron Taylor, NFL; Blair Wagner, MS, CSCS

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)

Suicide Clusters

Unfortunately, adolescent suicide can sometimes lead to a contagion factor and the potential for suicide clusters.  Here are three excellent articles on the subject.

Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado (SPCC)

  • The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado was formed in 1999, when concerned citizens set out to create a statewide agency with the purpose of preventing suicide and creating a resource network for those who were working to prevent suicide around the state. Today, SPCC’s membership of concerned agencies, organizations and individuals who are working in the areas of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention has statewide reach.
  • Suicide and Mental Health Resources by Colorado County
  • Suicide Prevention Resources for Colorado Middle and High Schools, published June 2014
    • 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.

Suicide Prevention en Español

  • Posted September 2012.
  • Radio program on EDUCARadio from Denver Public Schools to provide information to Spanish speaking students and parents.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

Suicide and Refugee Children and Adolescents 

  • Refugee children and adolescents who experience suicidal ideation may not receive the help they need as many refugee families do not seek traditional mental health services and lack access to other sources of support. Being informed about risk and protective factors for suicide among refugees can help identify those in need of services at an earlier stage. This 3-page fact sheet explains risk and protective factors as related to suicide and refugee children and adolescents and gives strategies for talking with refugee children and adolescents about suicide.

Talking to Your Kids About Suicide

  • From the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, this guide provides practical information designed to enable parents to be comfortable in communicating with their children on the topic of suicide prevention. 

The Trevor Project

 

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