When children talk about death, communicate a wish to die, or hurt themselves—when they engage in suicidal thoughts and behaviors (“STBs”)—school adults may feel stunned and disoriented. Rates of reported STBs in children are rising (Burstein et al., 2019), elevating the need for up-to-date information meant to ensure educators are prepared to respond in the best possible way. This Brief, a complement to the more detailed resource, “Self-Harm and Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Childhood and Early Adolescence: A Resource for Elementary School Educators & School-Based Professionals,” is designed to provide elementary school personnel with critical knowledge and resources to help them recognize and assess the warning signs of STBs, and to respond in such a way that harm may be reduced, and children are kept safe.
O’Malley, M., Marion, F., Palacio, J., & Gomez, J. (2023) Pacific Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC).