A toolkit is now available to help guide a school’s actions following the aftermath of suicide or other deaths in the school community. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Centre (SPRC) have created the toolkit based on the principles that:
- All student deaths should be treated in the same way;
- Yet this must be balanced with recognition of adolescent vulnerability to suicide contagion and the need to avoid inadvertently glamorizing a death;
- Understanding suicide and the links to mental health issues; and
- Communicating that resources are available to others struggling with similar issues or feelings.
The toolkit provides guidance on topics such as crisis response, support for individual student coping, work with the larger community, memorialization of the student who has died, social media usage, suicide contagion, connecting with local mental health supports, and preventative steps.
See “After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools” at www.sprc.org.