Following the recognition of September as National Suicide Prevention Month, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and its partners are highlighting several resources to support school communities in their youth suicide prevention efforts. All of the below resources may be accessed through the Prevent Suicide PA website at https://www.preventsuicidepa.org/.
- Considerations for Virtual Adaptations to School Suicide Prevention Policies and Procedures: This document was developed to assist schools with reviewing existing suicide prevention policies and procedures to determine whether implementation may need to be modified, particularly within a virtual or hybrid structure. Read Considerations for Virtual Adaptations to School Suicide Prevention Policies and Procedures (PDF), which offers initial guiding questions and considerations for action steps for schools.
- Suicide Prevention Online Learning Center: This free online training site has been developed to provide research-based and best practice information to those supporting youth with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, including educators. The site includes an 8-module course entitled, “Youth Suicide Prevention for Educators,” that can be used to help schools meet Act 71 or Act 44 training requirements. Visit the Suicide Prevention Online Learning Center.
- Prevent Suicide PA’s Annual PSA Contest for High School Students: This year’s contest launched on September 21, 2020, and all submissions are due by December 16, 2020. Students are encouraged to develop and submit a youth suicide prevention PSA in one of 5 categories. Access the 2021 PSA contest rules and submission guidelines. All of the winning and honorable mention PSAs (e.g., posters, videos) from previous years are available for free and can be accessed by visiting http://psa.preventsuicidepa.org/.
- STAR-Center Postvention Standards Manual, 5th Edition: This manual is intended to guide schools and communities in developing their own postvention (i.e., services offered in an aftermath of a suicide or tragedy) policies and procedures. Access the newly revised version of the STAR-Center Postvention Standards Manual (PDF). Additionally, an accompanying document on Adapted Postvention Considerations for Schools (PDF) was developed to provide guidance on school postvention in the midst of physical distancing, virtual operations, and closures due to COVID-19.