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How Suicide Impacts Middle School Students

Updated on June 17, 2020

What Is Suicide?

  • Suicide is act of intentionally causing one’s own death.
  • Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders and substance abuse are risk factors
  • Suicide is the result of actions taken to deal with intolerable mental anguish and pain, fear or despair that overwhelms an individuals value for living and hope in life
  • Suicide is the result of actions taken to deal with intolerable mental anguish and pain, fear or despair that overwhelms an individuals value for living and hope in life.

Suicide Risk Factors:

Risk Factors are factors that have been shown to increase the likelihood that young people will have suicidal thoughts and behaviors

  • Loss
  • Addictions
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Other Traumas
  • Depression
  • Serious Physical Illness
  • Major Life Changes

Suicide Prevention for Schools

Children and adolescents spend a substantial part of their day in school under the supervision of school personnel.

The entire school staff should work to create an environment where students feel safe sharing such information. School psychologists and other crisis response team personnel, including the school counselor and school administrator, are trained to intervene when a student is identified at risk for suicide. These individuals conduct suicide risk assessment, warn/inform parents, provide recommendations and referrals to community services, and often provide follow up counseling and support at school.

What should you do if someone you know is threatening suicide?

  • If someone you know is threatening suicide, take the threat seriously.
  • Do not leave the person alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
  • Ask the person to give you any weapons he or she might have.
  • Take away sharp objects or anything else that the person could use to hurt himself or herself.
  • Try to keep the person as calm as possible.
  • Call 911 or take the person to an emergency room.

How Suicide Impacts Middle School Students

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

  • SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
  • SEL provides a strong school-wide foundation for supporting student mental health and wellness.
  • The research on suicide prevention strongly recommends implementing universal approaches to supporting youth mental wellness before suicidal thoughts and behaviors can develop.

Academics

  • Students’ mental health is associated to academic performance.
  • Mental health problems can affect many areas of students’ lives, reducing their quality of life, academic achievement, physical health, and satisfaction with the middle school experience, and negatively impacting relationships with friends and family members.

Teen Suicide Statistics

  • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2017 CDC WISQARS)
  • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2017 CDC WISQARS)
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
  • Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,069 attempts by young people grades 9-12. If these percentages are additionally applied to grades 7 & 8, the numbers would be higher.
  • Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs

© 2020 Shanique Prechard

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