Teen Suicide Prevention: Educator Responsibility

Understand the importance of your role as an educator in identifying students at risk for suicide and utilizing specific intervention tools.
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Updated on: March 27, 2008

Teen Suicide Prevention: Educator Responsibility

Be empowered to respond to students' needs in an appropriate and effective manner, with specific intervention tools and an understanding of your role. Start with knowing exactly whom to contact to get help for students who may be at risk. Play on your natural strengths as a good listener and a caring, competent professional. You also need to know how to manage feelings of anxiety and fear.

  1. Understand the importance of your critical but limited role, in the identification of students at risk for suicide.
  2. Familiarize yourself with school policies and procedures that address this issue.
  3. Learn information that facilitates identification of at-risk students.
  4. Attend to students, verbally and non-verbally, for warning signs.
  5. Identify those students who may be at elevated risk.
  6. Refer those students to appropriate resources.

As an educator, you do not need to understand the complexities of mental health classification and treatment. The role of a teacher is simple, critical, and limited in scope:

  1. Learn — Learn the signs of risk in students
  2. Identify — Identify at-risk students
  3. Refer — Refer to appropriate resources


The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, Inc.

Provided in partnership with The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. 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.
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