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.

More Suicide Prevention and Awareness Resources

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, Inc. (SPTS)

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

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