In North Dakota, we all know too well, how deaths by suicide affect our students, families, schools and communities. In North Dakota, suicide is the second leading cause of death in ages 10 to 24. Schools are a key setting for suicide prevention. Administrators, teachers, school based mental health providers, and all other school personnel who interact with students can play an important role in keeping them safe. Suicide is a preventable public health problem.
The best way to prevent suicide is to use a comprehensive approach that includes these key components:
- Promote emotional well-being and connectedness among all students.
- Identify students who may be at risk for suicide and assist them in getting help.
- Crisis Planning: Be prepared to respond when a suicide death occurs.
- Adopting a Policy on Suicide Prevention.
School personnel have a legal and ethical responsibility to recognize and respond to suicidal thinking and behavior. Because it is impossible to predict when a crisis will occur, preparedness is essential to guide school actions for all districts. The North Dakota School Boards Association encourages the adoption and implementation of comprehensive suicide prevention templates. Districts should also review the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention. For further information on these templates or to request a copy, please contact the NDSBA office at (800) 932-8791.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day workshop designed for all community members. The goal is to enhance a caregiver's ability to assist a person at risk of suicide.
Jason Foundation, Inc.
The Jason Foundation, Inc series of online Staff Development Training Modules provide information on the awareness and prevention of youth suicide. These training modules are suitable for teachers, coaches, other school personnel, youth workers, first responders, foster parents and any adult who works with or interacts with young people or wants to learn more about youth suicide. Modules are provided at no cost to those requesting the programs.
Kognito At-Risk for High School and Middle School Educators is a one-hour evidence-based, online program to educate middle and high school teachers and personnel to identify, approach and refer students exhibiting signs of psychological distress, including depression, and suicidal ideation.
Question. Persuade. Refer. An emergency mental health intervention for suicidal persons. The QPR Institute offers comprehensive suicide prevention training programs, educational and clinical materials for professionals, institutions and the general public. This is a one- to two-hour training; districts can work with instructors to assure the training meets the requirements of the law.
More Than Sad
More Than Sad, developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is an educational program that assists teachers and school personnel in learning more about teen suicide and how they play a role in its prevention. It features two films, each approximately 25 minutes in length and a manual that integrates both films into a comprehensive suicide prevention program.
safeTALK is a half-day alertness workshop that prepares individuals to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with pain in their lives. The safeTALK workshop will demonstrate the importance of suicide alertness and identify ways people invite help when they’re at risk. safeTALK provides practical knowledge of how to identify someone at risk and link them to life-saving resources. FirstLink in North Dakota also offers the training.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- American Association of Suicidology
- Jason Foundation
- FirstLink Suicide Services
- North Dakota Dept. of Human Services
- Parents Lead
- SAMHSA Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (Education Development Center)
- Virtual Behavioral Health Professional Development (Kognito) - ND Department of Human Services
- Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide (University of South Florida)
FirstLink assists people to identify, access, and make effective use of community and volunteer resources 24 hours a day. It’s the first link to connect people to resources.
FirstLink NEW Texting Option
North Dakota youth now have the option to text as well as call for emotional support and resources! Youth can text ND4ME to 898-211 twenty four hours a day or dial 211 to get help, hope, and support. School posters are also available on their website and can be printed, laminated, etc. to be shared in commons areas, busses, bathrooms, and anywhere youth may congregate.
FirstLink Suicide Prevention Trainings
Sources of Strength is an evidence-based prevention model for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse. Local schools receive training for peer leaders and staff to build trusted relationships, increase awareness of risk behaviors and support/referrals for struggling students. The Sources of Strength webinar provides an overview of the program.
Contact the Sources of Strength staff at (701) 471-7183 for more information.