Teen Suicide Prevention: Talking to At-Risk Students

The recommended strategy for talking with suicide-risk students is similar to techniques used to talk to students about other classroom issues:

  • Listen (Acknowledge feelings in student's terms, Clarify, Summarize, Validate).
  • Know your limits.
  • Know your resources.
  • Act.
  • Follow up.
Asking about suicide CANNOT plant the idea in the student's mind, but if your personal attitudes about suicide would make you uncomfortable or uneasy about asking that question, you just need to know where to refer that student for further conversation.

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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