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Suicide Prevention and Response

Each year an estimated 775,000 family members are impacted by the suicide attempt or death of a loved one. Countless others are concerned about friends. Young adults aged 18-24 have the highest incidence of reported suicide ideation. One fourth of all persons aged 18-24 years in the U.S. are either full- or part-time college students. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Kentuckians 15-34 years old. From the National Institute of Mental Health, "suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students in the U.S."



KCSS Suicide Prevention Resources

Kentucky Center for School Safety's New Emergency Management Resource Guide has a section on Suicide

Hinting, writing, or talking about suicide is a call for help and must be taken seriously. When confronted with a situation in which life-threatening behavior is present, immediate mobilization of all appropriate resources is paramount. Under such conditions, commitment to student confidentiality is superseded by the need to initiate life saving interventions.

Safe and Effective Messaging for Suicide Prevention
This document offers evidence-based recommendations for creating safe and effective messages to raise public awareness that suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem. The following list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” should be used to assess the appropriateness and safety of message content in suicide awareness campaigns.

13 Reasons Why Talking Points
13 Reasons Why is a fictional story based on a widely known novel and is meant to be a cautionary tale.





FREE Hotline...National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Together, we can create awareness and give emotional support to those who may be contemplating suicide. If you or someone you know is in an emotional distress or suicidal crisis, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide Prevention Training for Educators

Suicide Prevention Training and Resources for Educators
In response to new Kentucky legislation regarding suicide prevention training and awareness for middle school and high school staff and students, the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities has prepared information about programs, training and materials. Visit Kentucky Cabinet for Heatlh and Family Services website

Suicide Prevention Program
The purpose of this page is to provide information. It is NOT intended to be used for crisis prevention or intervention, or as a substitute for seeking professional help. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and its Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities provide no guarantee of the accuracy of, nor warranties of any kind related to, the material provided by external entities. Use of this information is at the sole risk of the user. Visit Kentucky Cabinet for Heatlh and Family Services website

Suicide: School Response

Preparing for and Responding to a Death by Suicide (The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida)

Sample Forms for Schools
  • Announcements for Students, Faculty, and Staff
  • Notification Letter to Parents Following a Suicide
  • Formal Statement to Notify Media of Suicide
  • Sample Response Form for Incoming Calls from the Media

Suicide Resources

  • Suicide Prevention – Facts, signs, and intervention  - There are a number of reasons why children, like adults, may find themselves thinking the unthinkable. Alarmingly, in recent years, suicide has increased dramatically and, sadly, more and more of our children are choosing to end their lives rather than face the hardships the world hurls at them. This brochure provides suicide facts, signs you must not ignore, and intervention techniques.... (KidsPeace - The National Center for Kids Overcoming Crisis)
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a webpage dedicated to suicide prevention, statistics, strategies and research. This site also includes podcasts on suicide prevention. (Department of Health and Human Resources)
  • Guidelines for schools responding to ... suicide  – National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB) – Guidelines designed to respond to the needs of students and staff after a suicide has impacted the school environment.
  • National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention - The Public-Private Partnership Advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
  • K-12 Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention - This Toolkit was created by the Health Care Alliance for Response to Adolescent Depression (HEARD) in 2013 (updated in 2017), in response to a need for schools to promote student mental health and wellbeing, to prevent suicide and, in particular, how to respond after a suicide loss. The Toolkit convenes national best practices from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH), and several other organizations. It serves as a resource to fulfill California law AB 2246, The Pupil Suicide Prevention Act (2016), which requires that all public schools serving students in grades 7-12 have a Pupil Suicide Prevention Policy. This document has been updated to reflect both this need and this policy requirement. The tools and resources provided in this updated Toolkit are meant to complement what schools may already have in place and to help initiate the implementation of a Pupil Suicide Prevention Policy. (Heard Alliance)

Suicide Links