Teen Suicide Prevention: Protective Factors

Bolster your students' resiliency by fostering protective factors, behaviors, and characteristics that can help them form a barrier against suicide risk factors.
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Teen Suicide Prevention: Protective Factors

'Protective factors' are personal, behavioral, or situational characteristics that contribute to a student's resiliency and serve as a buffer against some of the factors that can increase risk.

  • Contact with a caring adult.
  • Sense of connection or participation in school.
  • Positive self-esteem and coping skills.
  • Access to and care for mental/physical/substance disorders.
  • A sense of connection or participation in school.
  • Positive self-esteem and good coping skills.
  • Access to care for emotional or physical problems, or for substance abuse disorders.
  • Cultural or religious beliefs that discourage suicide and promote self-preservation.
One of the most significant protective factors for youth is a caring relationship with an adult, and for many youths that person is a teacher. Follow these tips to foster protective factors in your students:
  • Teach students that it is okay to ask for help.
  • Give students permission to talk about traumatic events like suicide.
  • Help students identify trusted adults.
  • Encourage participation in school and community activities.
  • Acknowledge student efforts.
  • Be a good listener, as often as possible.

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

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