Developed by Hazeldon, this program is broken into three one day workshops.
Participants can take one or all three, depending on their community’s needs. The programs recognise the fact that everybody in the school community has a role in suicide prevention, intervention or postvention.
This Train the Trainer course allows information, resources, knowledge and processes to be embedded in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Generally designed as an in-service workshop, this component provides the basic information about adolescent suicide that has the most practical implications for school personnel.
This presentation includes two film clips, one on suicide risk and warning signs and the other on practicing the warm hand-off. It outlines the critical but limited role of faculty and staff in identifying and responding to suicidal behaviour, and identifies in-school referral resources.
The role of faculty and staff in suicide prevention is described in this presentation using three goals:
1) Learning the warning signs of suicide
2) Identifying at-risk students
3) Referring at-risk students to appropriate resources
What You Will Learn
When a school experiences the death of a student or faculty member under any circumstances, that first moment of shock and disbelief is almost immediately followed by the question: “How do we help the school get through this?” When the death is a suicide, there may be even more concern about an appropriate response. The decisions of administrators set the tone for the school’s crisis management strategy. However, it’s important to remember that not only is every level of the school affected by the death but also that every level brings its own kind of support and resilience to the recovery process.
The authors of this manual have been involved in helping schools manage the impact of suicides for over thirty years. Their background and experience combine the wisdom of mental health crisis response with the need for a practical, education-focused school response. The strategies suggested have been field-tested for many years and often incorporate interventions used by the educators with whom they have worked. They have translated the language of mental health into the jargon of the school. Their goal is not to turn the school into a crisis centre or mental health clinic but to help it fulfil its critical but limited role in the process of recovery.
This manual outlines a response strategy that recognizes both the resources and the challenges schools face in dealing with a death within the school community. The designation community is intentionally used because it accurately reflects the composition and climate of a school, as well as provides a systematic structure for response. The authors further define that community as “competent and compassionate” meaning that everyone in the community is concerned about each other’s welfare and knows where and how to get help for themselves and other community members. By considering this “competent and compassionate community” as the context for crisis response, we can begin to impose order on what often seems like a chaotic process.
There’s been a trend in recent years to provide more education in schools about mental health, especially as it relates to suicide prevention. Many health curricula teach students about signs and symptoms of depression and other mental disorders. Faculty and staff may get the same type of training at presentations or in-service workshops. The Lifelines approach utilizes a different tactic. While the authors recognize the importance of mental health education, their slant on youth suicide prevention is broader and focuses on mental wellness rather than on mental illness.
The signature of Lifelines has been the establishment of a “competent school community,” where all members can identify the signs of suicide risk and know what to do in response. This book is written for school resource staff who are often called upon to intervene when there is concern about a student’s potential suicide risk. While the authors recognize that assessment by a community mental health professional is ultimately required with at-risk students, they also know that school staff may find themselves in a position of having to provide targeted interventions to facilitate those subsequent referrals. This manual reflects this unique role in the intervention process. The goal is to provide staff with helpful tips and resources to improve their comfort level in asking the questions that they need to ask in order to help save a life.
Lifelines also highlights the promotion of resilience or “protective” factors for youth—including assisting students in identifying trusted adults in their support network and teaching them that it’s okay to ask for help.
There is, however, a paradox in school-based suicide prevention: when it’s effective, more students are identified as being at potential risk. When the competent suicide prevention community is in action, this identification can come from a variety of sources: peers, faculty and staff, parents, or the at-risk students themselves. Whatever the source, however, a chain of events should be set in motion to create a safety net for the student. This safety net includes not just the resources of the school but also those of the community at large.
Suicide is now being covered in younger grades as a response to the social and cultural changes young people are facing. Suicide has also become a frequent online topic. The vital consideration for this curriculum is that it is presented in a way that is safe, helpful, accurate and not anxiety provoking.
Session 1 reflects the tendency of children to make fun of things that frighten or scare them. This session “Suicide isn’t silly” sets the foundation for continuing classroom discussions of suicide by acknowledging the anxiety that may come with these lessons. Session 2 “Friends help friends” begins to present the dilemma of knowing something is not right with a friend but not knowing what to do about it. Session 3, “Asking for help takes courage” builds on that theme and redefines asking for help as a character of strength rather than a weakness. Video clips in the last session acknowledge that asking for help for a friend might not be easy but demonstrates the benefits of doing so.
Death by suicide has become more of an unfortunate reality for youth in these formative years. The sessions begin with a question “When is a friend in trouble?” This can defuse the intensity of the topic for vulnerable students and allow them to ease into the discussion. The second session moves into action, asking “How do I help a friend?” Recognising the importance of peer role models, the content focuses on a video hosted by two older teens, that presents a series of scenarios to demonstrate how to identify and respond to a troubled friend. The third sessions topic is “Where can I go to get help?” with a short video that tells a true story of three eighth grade boys who used what they learned in the curriculum to help a friend. The final session “How can I use what I’ve learned?” helps students apply the curriculum to real-life situations.
This two session unit focuses on helping students address the emotional challenges that come from dealing with the massive life changes that accompany graduation from High School. It briefly recaps the grade 7-10 curriculum , however the difference in this unit is that it focuses on caring for yourself rather than for others and emphasizes knowing how to identify trusted sources for help outside the high school community. The concepts of self-care and social connection have been recognised as increasingly important variables in emotional health and can b e covered easily in a two-class unit. Self-care and social connection are called “protective factors” because they buffer youth from stress. The self-care element of the curriculum will help students identify their personal expectations for the future and how they will handle the stress they may experience when high expectations for life after high school are challenged or unmet. Students will be proved with both hard copy and online resources to identify and address these stressors.
What You Will Receive:
Book Lifelines Trilogy Training
Find out how to create a suicide-safe school community.
Face to Face Workshop
You may prefer the personal element of face-to-face training, and the benefit it offers to interaction and engagement. It provides the ability to discuss, collaborate, and practice with the guidance from the facilitator.