The toolkit is intended to help high schools, school districts and their allies design and implement strategies to prevent suicide and promote mental health among their students. Intended outcomes include: assess ability to prevent and respond to suicide; understand strategies to help those at risk; understand how to respond to suicide; identify effective suicide prevention programs and activities that fit institutional needs and culture; integrate suicide prevention activities with others, such as alcohol and drug abuse prevention. Identifying partners, generating support and prioritizing and selecting programs that fit your school are all covered. Additionally, the steps and tools necessary implement a comprehensive school-based suicide prevention program are included.
High schools in particular should address suicide for a multitude of reasons: maintaining a safe school environment is integral to their mission; students’ mental health affects their academic performance; suicide can significantly impact the student body and community as a whole; schools have been sued for negligence. Components of a multifaceted approach include: protocols for helping students at risk of suicide; protocols for responding to suicide death; staff education and training; parent education; student education; screening.