Educators

Knowledge and Training to Help Our Teens

Our educators have our teens and young adults for most of the day. Giving them the tools, resources and methods to identify and aid our loved ones is paramount. Many localities and states have taken additional and critical steps in making this training and recertification an annual requirement for all educators. Helping and saving our teens should not be optional. We fail when we refuse to gain the knowledge and training to help our teens and young adults. Just as our children and young adults struggle daily, we too must work daily to understand, identify and the signs and causes so we can prevent such tragedies in the future.

As an educator, we know you often identify students in your classroom who, for one reason or another seem vulnerable or at risk. But how do you know if what you’re seeing is part of the normal ups and downs of adolescence or something more severe?

The strategies we suggest for addressing your concerns are simple: When you observe changes in a student’s behavior, pay attention. If the changes concern you, talk with the student if you’re comfortable doing so. Feel free to consult your school’s resources staff about your observations. Your role in youth suicide prevention is critical—staff who have been educated and have an awareness of youth suicide are a school’s greatest prevention resource! SPTS has developed a two-hour suicide awareness training program. For more information about this and our other training materials, please contact us at info@sptsusa.org

ACT on FACTS is an updated version of the Best Practices, free, online training for educators Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention offered by the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. It provides two hours of professional development credit to educators at the discretion of your local school district but is open to anyone who is interested in reviewing current strategies for youth suicide prevention in schools.

To learn more about online training opportunities, please visit http://sptsuniversity.org/

Useful Links

Access On-Line Training – Making Educators a Partner in suicide Prevention

In Person Training Opportunities

Dealing with Suicide related Curriculum

Suicide Awareness in Elementary School

Student Returns to School

Understanding Student Reaction to Anniversary Date of Peer’s Death

Response to the Myth that Talking About Suicide With Kids Will “Plant the Idea”

SAMHSA HS Suicide Prevention Toolkit

ConnerStrong Foundation has partnered with SPTS to compile and deliver clinically proven resources, workshops and training (on-line and in person) to our educators. This training has been developed over many years by leaders in this field. It continues to be updated and modified to address the current culture and needs of our teens and young adults. These SPTS programs have been adopted in many counties and states across the nation.

SPTS expert program staff are available to meet your educational and professional development needs with a comprehensive catalog of dynamic workshops and training programs for schools, community groups, professional conferences and parents. Browse below or contact us to determine the presentation that best fits your suicide prevention needs.

The Lifelines Trilogy: Prevention, Intervention, & Postvention

School communities who have experienced a death by suicide no longer need to be convinced of the reality of teen suicide: national data tell us that at-risk students are present in every school, at every grade level. Yet, how can schools implement procedures for identifying these at-risk students and addressing their needs – all while remaining focused on their primary functions of educating all students in a safe and healthy environment for learning? The Lifelines Trilogy™ makes school-based suicide prevention possible and practical.

Here’s what you’ll find in each component of the Lifelines Trilogy™:

ed

Lifelines Prevention sets the foundation for a school’s competence in youth prevention by providing:

Guidelines for administrative policies and protocols that reflect confidentiality and liability

  • A manualized awareness presentation for faculty and staff
  • A video presentation for parents
  • A four-session Evidence-Based curriculum for middle & high school students
intervention

Lifelines Intervention is the indispensable guide for identifying and responding to students who may be at suicide risk. Designed for school support and resource staff from elementary through high school, it includes:

  • Practical tools for talking about suicide in a conversational manner that is developmentally appropriate – the “Tell Me More” model
  • Training videos that demonstrate techniques for engaging challenging students and parents in the intervention and referral process
  • Detailed information about potentially higher risk students including those who are bullied, identity as LGBTQ, are gifted, or are returning to school after a suicide-related absence
postvention

Although Lifelines Postvention was originally conceived as a tool to guide school response to a death by suicide, it has been adapted to reflect responses to all types of traumatic loss events. It outlines:

  • A proactive and detailed response plan that can be tailored to meet the individual needs of a school or the circumstances of a loss
  • Resources for identifying and training members of a crisis team
  • Over 250 pages of resource templates

While Lifeline manuals offer the tools, templates and training curriculum for schools to implement comprehensive school-based suicide prevention, full day workshops are available in each of the components and can be provided by our skilled and knowledgeable trainers. These engaging workshops quickly enrich the competence and confidence of school staff and administration to address this important school health and safety issue.

SPTS Presenters can provide an in-person version of our Best Practices, online training. This training addresses the critical but limited responsibilities of educators in the process of identification and referral of potentially suicidal youth. It focuses on the practical realities and challenges inherent in the school setting through a variety of training formats that include lecture, question and answer with content experts, interactive exercises and role plays. In addition to its other content, the program highlights four categories of youth who may be at elevated risk for suicide: youth involved in bullying, LGBTQ youth, gifted youth, and students being reintegrated back into school after a suicide attempt. The training includes optional content that addresses suicide in elementary and middle schools. There is also an additional module that includes the stories of individual survivors of suicide loss as well as a high school that experienced an episode of contagion. The focus in telling these stories is to highlight the importance of emphasizing resilience and protective factors after a loss event.

The program is adapted from the educator component of LIFELINES: A School-based Program for Suicide Prevention initially developed in 1989 by John Kalafat and Maureen Underwood. It incorporates material from the previous Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention training as well as current data about risk, warning signs, and populations at higher risk. The segment on LGBTQ youth was developed in partnership with The Trevor Project and the section on bullying was created in conjunction with the Olweus Bulling Prevention Program. Content was also developed with input from survivors of suicide loss and those with lived experience.

This Training of Trainers offering includes 90 minutes of instruction, trainer manual, flash drive with video clips and other trainer materials, and access to a learning collaborative for ongoing support. This workshop prepares participants to provide Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention (MEP), a National best practice training. Trainer candidates must complete the two-hour online Act on Facts: Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention at www.sptsuniversity.org  prior to participating in the Training of Trainers. Up to 30 trainer candidates may participate.

MEP is designed to meet the general awareness and knowledge needs of school faculty and staff and its content reflects current knowledge in the field of youth suicide prevention from the perspective of school personnel.

MEP Program Objectives include:
  • Increase awareness and understanding of youth suicide
  • Increase recognition of warning signs
  • Improved confidence to provide an effective initial response and refer to school resource personnel.
MEP Intended Audience:

Making Educators Partners in Suicide Prevention is designed to meet the general youth suicide awareness needs of all faculty and staff in schools. There is no limit to the size of the audience. Trainers can also request a version of the training designed for use outside of school for family, child and youth services providers. If the school has had a recent suicide death, there are adaptations to fit the “survivor school” experience. Additional slides (that emphasize healing and identifying other at-risk youth) and consultation will be provided.

MEP Intended Length:

The training is designed for two hours. The content can be modified to accommodate a 90 minute, 1 hour or 45 minute presentation.

We are happy to work with your school administration to facilitate a presentation for parents. We can customize the format and length of time to best fit your audience. Our “Raising Resilient Teens” presentation includes organizing a group of local experts to address parents on a variety of issues plaguing our teens. We also can provide a presentation on the warning signs of suicide and local resources to your parents at a community presentation, PTA/PTO meeting or Back to School Night.

We cannot bring back those we have lost but we can take a step to make sure no one has to deal with such heartache and the associated pain ever again.

-Tom Worosz

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