New SAMHSA toolkit helps high school personnel to identify at-risk students and direct them to help.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) unveiled a new, free toolkit to help prevent suicide. Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools aims at reducing the risk of suicide among high school students by providing school administrators, principals, mental health professionals, health educators, guidance counselors, nurses, student services coordinators, teachers and others guidelines for identifying teenagers at risk and resources for taking appropriate actions to provide help.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “Our young people need to know they can work through tough times and help is available. This new tool kit will help adults identify young people who are struggling and guide them through the challenges they face.”
The tool kit is based on years of practical experience in high school suicide prevention programs. It draws upon the elements that are easily adaptable to any high school setting. In addition, it provides high schools with useful information on the many federal, state and community programs that are available to help bolster their suicide prevention efforts, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline is a toll-free suicide prevention hotline that provides free and confidential crisis counseling to anyone in need 24/7 and has answered over 3 million calls since its launch in 2005.
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents in our nation. Every one of these deaths is preventable,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention by building supportive communities and reaching out to help someone in crisis. By working together we can all help save lives.”