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Atascadero USD |  BP  5141.52  Students

Suicide Prevention   

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The Board of Trustees recognizes that suicide is a major cause of death among youth and that all suicide threats must be taken seriously. The Superintendent or designee shall establish procedures to be followed when a suicide attempt, threat or disclosure is reported. The District shall also provide students, parents/guardians and staff with education that helps them recognize the warning signs of severe emotional distress and take preventive measures to help potentially suicidal students.

The Superintendent or designee shall incorporate suicide prevention instruction into the curriculum.

The Superintendent or designee shall also offer parent education or information which describes the severity of the youth suicide problem and the District's suicide prevention curriculum. This information shall be designed to help parents/guardians recognize warning signs of suicide, learn basic steps for helping suicidal youth and identify community resources that can help youth in crisis.

Suicide prevention training for certificated and classified staff shall be designed to help staff recognize sudden changes in students' appearance, personality or behavior which may indicate suicidal intentions, help students of all ages develop a positive self-image and a realistic attitude towards potential accomplishments, identify helpful community resources, and follow procedures established by the Superintendent or designee for intervening when a student attempts, threatens or discloses the desire to commit suicide. The training shall be offered under the direction of a trained District counselor/psychologist or in cooperation with one or more community mental health agencies.

(cf. 1020 - Youth Services)

(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4231 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4331 - Staff Development)

(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)

Staff shall promptly report suicidal threats or statements to the principal or mental health counselor, who shall promptly report the threats or statements to the student's parents/guardians. These statements shall otherwise be kept confidential.

(cf. 5141 - Health Care and Emergencies)

The Board endorses the use of peer counselors who can provide an effective support system for students who may be uncomfortable communicating with adults. Peer counselors shall first complete the suicide prevention curriculum and demonstrate that they are able to identify the warning signs of suicidal behavior and rapidly refer a suicidal student to appropriate adults.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

49602 Confidentiality of student information

49604 Suicide prevention training for school counselors

WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE

5698 Emotionally disturbed youth; legislative intent

Management Resources:

CDE PUBLICATIONS

Suicide Prevention Program for California Schools, 1987

Health Framework for California Public Schools, 1994

Policy ATASCADERO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: October 5, 1999 Atascadero, California