Risk factors for youth suicide are personal or environmental characteristics, that when one or more are present, are associated with a higher probability of suicidal behavior:
depression, feelings of hopelessness, loneliness,
substance abuse, aggressive/risky behavior, low stress tolerance, impulsivity,
stressful circumstances: abuse, exposure to suicide by peer/family member, bullying (victim/perpetrator)
parent mental health issues, death of a parent, no access to mental health care
exposure to discrimination based on sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, disability, physical characteristics
Protective factors are personal or environmental factors that reduce probability of suicidal behavior. They help a student cope with effects of risk factors:
emotional intelligence: self-regulation, problem-solving skills, coping skills, resiliency
family support and involvement
access to mental health and healthcare providers
school: positive experiences, sense of community, safe environment, connectedness
Suicidal warning signs that you may witness or hear about as they relate to a student:
focus on suicide/death: in conversations, writings, drawings, social media posts
threats to harm oneself (verbal, written, or posted on social media)
giving away most valuable possessions
isolation from friends and family
acting differently than usual: anxious, impulsive, irritable or agitated
loss of interest in favorite things; talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
sudden changes in mood or appearance
What if you suspect or have knowledge of a student’s suicidal intentions?
Take every warning sign and/or threat of self-harm seriously and immediately follow below steps.
What if a student came to you with suicidal thoughts?
Take every warning sign and/or threat of self-harm seriously; immediately follow steps and let student know:
You are not alone (ex: “I’m here to listen and we all care about you” or if you are prefer, “I can find someone trusted for you to talk with”)
Yes, we all feel this way sometimes (ex: “things going on can often feel overwhelming”)
No, you won’t always feel like this. (ex: “these feelings won’t last forever even though in the moment it may feel that way”)
Yes, the world is a better place with you in it. (ex: “I’m glad you shared this with me, I want you to know I look forward to seeing you every day and I’m here to help you”)
STEPS TO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW WHEN THE RISK OF SUICIDE HAS BEEN RAISED
STEP 1: Do not leave the student alone. Stay with student or designate another adult to stay with student. If the student is in imminent danger (has access to a weapon, is on a rooftop, or in other unsafe conditions), call 911.
STEP 2: Take immediate action by contacting:
a. Primary site contact: Alpha AP and Counselor (See contact information below)
b. Secondary site contact (if unable to reach primary): Available AP, Counselor, School Psych, SSW
c. On-campus administrator (if unable to reach primary/secondary): Principal Killeen
d. If above contacts cannot be reached, contact district office: (760) 753-6491 x. 5570, 5531
STEP 3: Remain with student until the contact person (or designee) is with the student. Once under the supervision of contact staff (counselor, school psychologist, school social worker or designee) SDUHSD’s “Protocol for Helping a Student At Risk of Suicide” will be followed.
STEP 4: Only if after school hours: stay with student, immediately contact parent and stay with student until parent arrives. If unable to reach parent, stay with student and call 911.
If non-school hours and you are not with student but are notified student is suicidal, call 911 and then notify primary site contact.
Assistant Principals Alpha Extension
Lisha Brunache A - G x4004
Garry Thornton H - O x4026
Bernard Steinberger P - Z x4041
Ashley Bahner A - Ci x4031
Layne DeLorme Cl - Gri x4029
Holly Austin Gro - Led x4076
April Maniscalco Lee - O x4020
Rebecca Erquitt P - Sp x4024
Escely Marr (Sub, Djernes) St - Z x4063
Sarah Djernes St - Z x4010
Mako Csapo x4007
Dorothy Guinter x4032
Brett Killeen x4000