K – 12
Did you know suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in our nation’s youth, 10-18? Unfortunately, in both Ohio and the nation, we have seen troubling increases in our youth suicide rates since 2007.
However, we also know there are school-based suicide prevention strategies which can reduce youths’ risk of suicide. OSPF provides resources, support, and training for schools invested in youth suicide prevention. Use the information and resources below to find strategies for youth suicide-prevention which you can incorporate into your local school-based efforts.
K-12 Suicide Prevention Resources and Services
Access to Kognito Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainings
Kognito trainings are online, self-paced, and feature interactive lessons on recognizing the warning signs of student distress in elementary, middle, and high school students. School staff and students use avatars and simulations to practice recognizing behaviors which are signs of distress and having important conversations with youth across the K-12 age-span. These simulations are approved to meet HB 543 legislation, requiring education on suicide prevention for Ohio K-12 school staff.
In order to obtain free access to Kognito simulations, all K-12 institutions will be required to participate in OSPF’s K-12 Learning Community of Practices (CoPs), held twice per year. These CoPs include a series of 3 online webinar discussions, held once per month, whereby K-12 institutions can receive important feedback on implementing the Kognito simulations, strategies for systemwide dissemination, and guidance on how to incorporate Kognito into larger suicide prevention plans. If you have any questions about joining a learning CoP, please reach out to Austin Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
K-12 Kognito Simulations:
At-Risk for Elementary School Educators
This interactive role-play simulation prepares you to: (1) recognize when a student is exhibiting signs of psychological distress, and (2) practice a challenging conversation with a student or a parent in order to connect them with the appropriate school support service.
At-Risk for Middle School Educators
Recognize when a middle school student is exhibiting signs of psychological distress and manage conversations with three virtual students to connect them with appropriate services within the school. After completing the simulation, you will be better equipped to identify warning signs of psychological distress, manage conversations that help students build resilience, and make effective referrals to school support personnel.
At-Risk for High School Educators
Recognize when a high school student is exhibiting signs of psychological distress and manage conversations with three virtual students to connect them with appropriate services within the school. After completing the simulation, you will be better equipped to identify warning signs of psychological distress, manage conversations that help students build resilience, and make effective referrals to school support personnel.
Friend2Friend Mobile App (For Students)
This 25-minute role-play simulation for high school students will allow them to practice having a challenging conversation with a friend who may be suffering from psychological stress. This peer-to-peer training simulation is FREELY available to all Ohio K-12 high school students by downloading the Friend2Friend mobile app on the App Store or Google Play.
Presentations on K-12 Suicide Prevention for the school community
OSPF’s staff are well-versed in evidence-based suicide prevention for schools and can provide presentations ranging from school community members’ roles in recognizing the warning signs of student suicide, to highlighting legislation and policies relevant to K-12 suicide prevention, to planning for appropriate steps after a death by suicide in the school community.
Guidance on evidence-based resources and programming
There are a wealth of K-12 suicide prevention programs and resources available which schools can use to implement and expand upon ongoing suicide prevention strategies in their communities and systems. OSPF provides guided insight on the programs available and considerations for schools as they choose their local programming.
Messaging and materials for suicide prevention marketing/campaigns
OSPF provides two annual suicide prevention campaigns during May (Mental Health Awareness Month) and September (Suicide Prevention Awareness Month) annually. Schools interested in suicide prevention campaigns can benefit from shared messaging, prepared social media posts, mass emails, and linked images for distribution in their communities.
Trainings for school mental health professionals on the proper identification, assessment, and management of suicide risk
OSPF offers workforce development trainings on effective safety-planning and treatment for suicide ideation in K-12 youth across Ohio. CEUs for school social workers and counselors are available upon completion of the 6 or 10-hour suicide prevention trainings. Information on upcoming in-person trainings and the opportunity to co-host a training with OSPF in your community are available on OSPF’s calendar of events (Link to online calendar). Cost per participant is only $30-$35. Reach out to Austin Lucas at email@example.com with questions about registering for a workforce development training.
Connections to local suicide prevention coalitions
Ohio has over 50 suicide prevention coalitions serving over 80 counties. These suicide prevention coalitions can support K-12 prevention programming, providing local speakers, programs, resources, and opportunities for student and adult involvement. Coalition activities are locally driven and can support schools’ ongoing and future efforts. Suicide prevention coalitions benefit from the participation of schools in their community planning and programming for youth suicide prevention. View the Coalition/LOSS Team map
Connections to Local Outreach of Suicide Survivor (LOSS) Teams
Ohio has over 20 LOSS teams serving 24 counties (with others in development). LOSS teams provide outreach and support group services to the family members and loved ones of those who die by suicide in their local communities. LOSS Teams can provide valuable crisis response services when a youth suicide occurs in a school and can help schools safely engage in remembrance of youth who lose their lives to suicide while supporting others in the school community. View the Coalition/LOSS Team map