While Suicide Awareness and Prevention programming might seem a little “heavy” at the elementary level, suicide is actually the second leading cause of death for persons ages 10-24. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), youth suicide rates have nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017. As such, MSD elementary school counselors have taken more of a kid-friendly approach to address this topic.
Programs that support mental health, develop life skills, and promote the development of positive relationships with caring adults may help protect children from suicide and support a healthy transition into adulthood. Such approaches that Mrs. Sutton, VPA School Counselor, has implemented during the month of September at VPA include the following:
“You Matter” signs posted throughout the building that promote a sense of belonging
Virtual, self-paced staff presentation: Suicide Prevention: What Can We Do As Educators to Keep Our Students Safe?
Classroom counseling lessons for September
Kindergarten: Resilience - What can I do when things get hard?
First & Second Grade: Hope: How Misty Copeland became the very first black female principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre
Third - Sixth Grade: My Coping Tools & Strategies
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline/Hotline cards were placed at the Parent Sign-in/Sign-out area
Suicide Hotline posters displayed in the 5-6 restrooms