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Prevention of student suicide

Post by on Monday, April 18, 2022

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Suicide is the leading cause of death among school children and adolescents. But it can be avoided. Young people who are suicidal often show warning signs of distress. Parents, teachers, and friends are uniquely positioned to recognize these warning signs and offer help. Most importantly you should never waste these red flags or promise to keep them hidden. We can help children before they engage in behaviour that has irreversible consequences if all adults and students in the school community are committed to making suicide prevention a priority and are empowered to take the necessary steps.

 

Risks of Suicide

Certain traits are linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts, yet they are not complete predictions.

• Mental disorders such as behavioral disorders, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse,

• Depression and dysfunction in the family.

• Presence of harmful substances, such as the presence of a gun in the living space.

• Contextual issues (eg, loss of a loved one, abuse, bullying, domestic violence).

 

Suicide Warning Signs

sMany young people who are contemplating suicide suggest a series of self-portraits. These include:

• The threats of direct and indirect suicide ("I will kill myself") and indirect ("I wish I could sleep and never wake up") are among them.

• Suicide planning and notes (including online posting).

• Suicide behavior in the past.

• Making final arrangements (eg, making funeral arrangements, writing a will, giving away important things).

• death anxiety.

• Behavioral, physical, mental, and/or emotional changes.

 

What to do

Children who are contemplating suicide are less likely to seek help directly; however, parents, school staff, and peers can detect warning signs and take prompt action to keep youths safe. When a teen shows signs of suicidal thoughts, the following steps should be taken:

• Keep calm.

• Ask the young person directly if he or she has any thoughts of suicide (eg "Are you thinking about suicide?").

• Avoid suspicion and instead focus on your concerns for their well-being.

• Listen.

• Reassure them that help is available and that they will not be in this situation forever.

• Do not appeal.

• Regular monitoring is required.

• Eliminate self-injury and do not leave young ones alone.

 

School's Role in Suicide Prevention

Most child or youth day is spent in school, under the supervision of school staff. Suicide prevention and violence prevention are most effective when combined with supporting mental health services, involving the entire school community, and focusing on a positive school environment with student expectations and caring and honest communication of the adult learner. Because of this, it is important for all school staff to be aware of the dangers and warning signs of suicidal behavior and to be aware of them. All school staff should work together to create an environment in which students feel free to share such information. When a child is considered to be at risk of suicide, school psychologists and other members of the disaster management team, such as a school counsellor and director, are taught to intervene. These professionals assess suicide risk, inform/warn parents, make recommendations and referrals to community services, and often provide follow-up counselling and school support.

 

Parental notification and participation

Even if a student is considered at low risk of suicide, schools may require parents to sign a document stating that all relevant information has been disclosed. Notices to parents should be in writing. Parents are also important members of a suicide risk assessment because they often have important knowledge in producing accurate risk assessments, such as mental health history, family flexibility, recent traumatic experiences, and previous suicidal actions. Once a school has informed a parent of his or her child's suicidal behaviour and provided referral information, it is the parent's responsibility to provide their child with mental health care. Parents should take the following steps:

• Continue to take threats seriously: It is important to follow that even if the child is silent or tells the parent that he or she "did not mean it." Do not assume that your child's actions are motivated by a need for attention (but at the same time avoid reinforcing the suicide threat; e.g., by allowing a student who has threatened to commit suicide to drive because he or she has been refused entry).

• Use school resources: If parents are reluctant to follow a referral, they may authorize the school psychologist to contact the referral agency, provide referral information, and follow up on the visit.

• Keep in touch with the school: The school will provide additional assistance after enrolling. Your communication skills will be crucial in ensuring that school is a safe and enjoyable environment for your child.

 

Building resilience

The presence of risk factors can reduce the chances of suicidal thoughts and behaviors where risk variables are present. When a child or young person is identified as at risk, schools, families, and friends should work together to develop these traits in and around the high school student.

• Family support and solidarity, as well as effective communication.

• Turn off social networks and peer support.

• Communication between the school and the community.

• Beliefs on suicide prevention or healthy living based on cultural or religious beliefs.

• Flexible problem-solving and coping skills, including conflict resolution.

• Easy access to competent health and mental health services.

• The joy of normal life, good self-esteem, and a sense of purpose.

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