Suicide is Preventable.
Most suicides occur due to some form of mental condition, such as depression or a substance abuse disorder. These conditions are treatable and suicide is preventable.
Know the Signs
The more warning signs the greater the risk.
Talk About It
Asking the suicide question does not increase the risk.
- Ask directly - "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"
- How you ask the question is less important than that you ask it.
- Talk to the person alone in a private setting.
- How not to ask the question - "You're not suicidal are you?"
Suicide is not the problem, only the solution to a perceived insolvable problem.
- Listen to the problem and give them your full attention.
- Offer help in any form.
- Then ask, "Will you go with me to get help?" or
- "Will you let me help you?" and
- "Will you promise not to kill yourself until we've found some help?"
Any willingness to accept help at some time, even if in the future, is a good outcome.
• Call 911 if you believe they are in immediate danger of harming themselves.
• The best referral involves taking the person directly to someone who can help.
• The next best referral is getting a commitment from them to accept help, and then making the arrangements to get that help.
The National Suicide PREVENTION LIFEline (l-800-273-8255) is a free 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crises or emotional distress. The LIFEline has referral information specific to each community.
• The third best referral is to give referral information and try to get a good faith commitment not to complete or attempt suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a 24 hour crisis line for those who are thinking of suicide. They also help those who are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is.
Metro Crisis Line
Metro Crisis Services offers a hotline for those struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school. Support and guidance is free and confidential.
SAFE2TELL is designed to help YOU anonymously report any threatening behavior that endangers you, your friends, your family, or your community.
The Douglas County School District takes suicide prevention very seriously. We work very closely with local law enforcement and non profit organizations in our community to educate our stakeholders and provide support to those in need.
Signs of Suicide (SOS) is an evidence-based program used in all middle schools to support the 8th grade health essential learning around personal safety. SOS teaches students how to recognize and respond to signs of depression and suicide in themselves or a friend. At the high school level, schools may implement SOS with all students. SOS is funded by a variety of local and state grants.
Safe2Tell and Text-a-Tip are anonymous ways for students to report risk-taking behavior to adults. All tips are investigated and many tips have resulted in positive interventions with students for a variety of problems.
ACT – Acknowledge-Care-Tell. This acronym is taught in SOS. All secondary schools have been given banners to publicize the importance of informing an adult of all worrisome behaviors.
Suicide Intervention Protocols are completed by psychologists, social workers and counselors should a student make suicidal statements to peers or an adult. Based on the assessment, appropriate follow up resources are given to the family. This protocol was recently revised and endorsed by Living Works, Inc to align with Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) language and processes.
Second Wind Fund is sponsored by the Second Wind Fund of Metro Denver and supports students who may be at risk of suicide by providing free therapy sessions.
District Crisis Team support – in the event of a suicide attempt or completed suicide, District Crisis Team members provide support and evidence-based suicide prevention and postvention services for schools.
Advisement Activities designed to inform students about the signs of suicide and how to respond appropriately are available for high school students.
Starfish Grief Support Groups are available to all Douglas County families touched by suicide or other deaths.
Sources of Strength – this comprehensive program designed for high school students, trains staff and students about what to look for and how to deal with potentially suicidal persons.
More Than Sad – The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention developed DVD’s for students and staff dealing with teen depression and suicide.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is an internationally recognized “gatekeeper” program designed to give adults skills to be more comfortable, confident and competent in helping prevent the immediate risk of suicide. To date, over 500 area adults have been trained. This includes more than 80 percent of DCSD counselors, psychologists and social workers. In addition, self-selected high school students have also begun to take the training.
The School Suicide Prevention Specialist - one adult at each of our secondary schools and District Crisis Team members completed the certification process offered by American Association of Suicidology.
ASIST “Tune Up’s” – are offered for those who have completed the two day ASIST workshop and desire a “refresher”.
Working Minds – this suicide prevention program is designed to equip those in the workplace to recognize the warning signs of suicide and how to respond. This training can be as short as one hour or up to three hours.
DCSD is part of the Douglas County Suicide Prevention Alliance. This interagency group shares local suicide statistics, resources and programs that educate our community on the signs of suicide and how to solicit support.
A comprehensive protocol for transporting and assessing suicidal adults and students has been developed by local law enforcement agencies, DCSD and area hospitals.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is available to all community members interested in suicide prevention for a nominal fee.
Suicide is Preventable - Here's How to Help
Many people may not realize that suicide is the second leading cause of death for middle and high school-aged students, as reported by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is surpassed only by “unintentional injury.” Suicide is preventable, though. Four out of five teens who attempted to end their lives have given clear warning signs or “invitations” to those around them to engage. That means that in 80 percent of cases, we have an opportunity to intervene and save a young person’s life. Read more
A fairly new partnership between DCSD’s Prevention & School Culture team and Douglas County Teen Court coordinators is providing a new path for youth offenders, and Sources of Strength— now present in most DCSD high schools and some middle schools— is establishing a healthy culture and climate with the goal of catching youth long before they fall into unhealthy behaviors or consider taking their own lives. Read more
Two teens in neighboring school districts recently took their own lives. Both boys posted on social media just before their deaths, panicking friends who tried to help but could not save them. Read more
One of the concerns that prevents individuals from speaking up when they are having suicidal thoughts is the fear of what happens next. The mystery of how that plays out can be scary. Read more
DCSD and Suicide Prevention
Helping a Suicide Survivor Heal
How to Report a Suicidal User in Facebook
Myths and Facts about Depression and Suicide
Parents Talk Suicide Prevention With Your Kids!
Parent Trauma Tips for Kids
Tips after Suicide-Helping Students Cope
What Parents Should Tell as Suicidal Teen
Suicide-Talking to Adolescents-Ages 9 to 13
Suicide-Talking to Young Children-Ages 4 to 8
Teen Suicide-What You Need to Know
Colorado State Office of Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
American Association of Suicidology
School Safety Resource Center
Douglas County Youth & Family Resource Guide
Arapahoe Douglas Mental Health Network
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Second Wind Fund of Metro Denver
Need mental health help?
Metro Crisis Services