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Suicide Prevention Plan » Suicide Prevention Plan

Suicide Prevention Plan

Forest Grove School District recognizes that suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens in Oregon. Students face many pressures and stressors that, if uncared for, can amplify mental health risk factors. When students feel connected to their schools, friends, and a caring adult, they are better equipped to cope with life stressors. 
Senate Bill 52, also known as "Adi's Act" was passed in Oregon in 2019. This legislation requires school districts to develop and publicly post their plan for suicide prevention. Forest Grove School District board policy JHH regarding district suicide prevention was adopted on 6/22/2020. The plan outlined here is a component of this policy.  

The information included in this plan was adapted from the following resources:

Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention

American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Psychologists, Trevor Project, and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention Step by Step

Lines for Life and the Willamette Educational Service District

Quick Notes
School staff are frequently considered the first line of contact with potentially suicidal students
Most school personnel are neither qualified, nor expected, to provide the in depth assessment or counseling necessary for treating a suicidal student. They are responsible for taking reasonable and prudent actions to help at-risk students, such as notifying parents, making appropriate referrals, and securing outside assistance when needed
All school personnel need to know that protocols exist to refer at-risk students to trained professionals so that the burden of responsibility does not rest solely with the individual “on the scene”
Research has shown that talking about suicide, or asking someone if they are feeling suicidal, will not put the idea in their head or cause them to die by suicide
School personnel, parents/guardians, and students need to be confident that help is available when they raise concerns regarding suicidal behavior. Students often know, but do not tell adults, about suicidal peers. Having support in place may lessen this reluctance to speak up when students are concerned about a peer
Talking about mental health and suicide can be challenging and sometimes, even we adults don’t know how to start the conversation. In this section, you will find some terminology that will help normalize the conversation.
Flight Team
A multidisciplinary team of primarily administrative, mental health, safety professionals, and support staff whose primary focus is to address helping a school support students and staff after a crisis.
Mental Health
Someone’s state of being in regards to their emotions and feelings. Everyone has mental health. Mental health is a spectrum and can present strengths and challenges at all stages of life. 
Protective Factors
Protective factors are a part of someone’s life experience that might increase their ability to cope with stressors. Examples of protective factors are a stable home environment, presence of supportive adults, and financial stability.
Risk Factors
Risk factors are parts of someone’s life stressors or the oppression experienced by a part of their identity that might increase their likelihood of thinking about suicide. Suicide risk tends to be highest when someone has several risk factors at the same time. Risk factors may encompass biological, psychological, and or social factors in the individual, family, and the environment.
Suicide Response Protocol Assessment
An evaluation of a student who may be at risk for suicide, conducted by the appropriate school staff member who has been trained in suicide intervention (e.g. counselor, psychologist, mental health professional).
Behavior that is self-directed and deliberately results in injury or the potential for injury to oneself. Can be categorized as either non-suicidal or suicidal. Although self-harm often lacks suicidal intent, youth who engage in self-harm are more likely to attempt suicide.
A mark of shame or a negative perception of a societal topic due to a combination of lived experience, culture, and belief systems in communities.
Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior. 
Suicide Attempt
A self-injurious behavior for which there is evidence that the person had at least some intent to kill themselves. A suicide attempt may result in death, injuries, or no injuries. A mixture of ambivalent feeling such as a wish to die and desire to live is a common experience with most suicide attempts. Therefore, ambivalence is not a sign of a less serious or dangerous suicide attempt. 
Suicide Contagion/Clusters
The research pattern that suicides in a community tend to put others a risk for suicide. Despite the name, suicidal thoughts are not necessarily “contagious” to otherwise mentally healthy individuals. Usually suicide contagions occur when a suicide triggers feelings in others that are otherwise already at-risk for suicide.
Suicide/Crisis Intervention
The intentional steps that your school and its staff take in the event of a student mental health crisis. Examples include written procedures, safety planning, parental involvement, and emergency services. 
Suicide Prevention
The intentional steps that your school takes to create a school culture that encourages positive coping skills, reaching out to help with mental health, and talking about suicide in a safe and healthy way. Examples of suicide prevention include mental health education, staff training, and mental health awareness activities. 
Suicide Postvention
Postvention is a crisis response strategy designed to reduce the risk of suicide contagion, provide the support needed to help survivors cope with a suicide death, address the social stigma associated with suicide, and disseminate factual information after the suicide death of a member of the school community. 
Suicidal Thoughts or Ideation
Thoughts about killing oneself or ending one’s life. These thoughts can range from “I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up” to detailed planning for suicide. ALL thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously. 
Trauma Informed Care
An approach that is aware of the prevalence of trauma, understands that trauma can have significant impact on our health and wellness, and understands that our current societal systems can re-traumatize the people in them.