John Glenn School Corporation
Administrative Guidelines
 

5350 - SUICIDE INTERVENTION PROCESS

In compliance with School Board Policy 5350, any time a staff member encounters a situation in which a student appears to be contemplating suicide, the following process should be followed carefully.

Step One - Stabilize the Situation

 A.Under no circumstances is a suicidal student to be left alone.

 B.Converse with the student immediately to determine if s/he has any dangerous instrumentalities (weapon, substance, or other material capable of inflicting a mortal wound) on or nearby his/her person.

 C.If the student will allow, immediately remove any dangerous instrumentalities from the student and the student's environment.

 D.If the student will agree, accompany him/her to a prearranged, nonthreatening place away from other students and other people but where there is another adult and a telephone close by. If the principal can be notified without leaving the student, do so as quickly as possible. If the student will not agree, stay calm and remain with him/her until someone comes by.

Either the principal (if available) or the staff member should proceed to Step Two without delay.

Step Two - Assess the Risk

 A.Stay relaxed and talk calmly to the student to assess the risk of the student harming himself/herself. Listen intently to what the student is saying and avoid giving advice. Keep questions nonjudgmental.

 B.If the student will not relinquish a dangerous instrumentality, use EXTREME RISK PROCEDURE (Step Three A).

 C.If the student is in imminent danger of harming himself/herself, use SEVERE RISK PROCEDURE (Step Three B).

 D.If the student is not in imminent danger of harming himself/herself, use MODERATE RISK PROCEDURE (Step Three C).

Step Three - Take Appropriate Action

 A.EXTREME RISK PROCEDURE

  1.Contact the police.

  2.Keep the student engaged in conversation as well as reassuring him/her until the police arrive.

  3.After the police arrive, and if good rapport has been established with the student, remain present to provide continuity and support as the police attempt to get the student to relinquish the dangerous instrumentality.

  4.Contact the student's parents and inform them of what has transpired and of the actions being taken.

 B.SEVERE RISK PROCEDURE

  1.Determine if the student's distress is the result of parental abuse, neglect, or exploitation. If so, notify the County Welfare Department immediately, give them the facts, request them to intervene, and follow their instructions.

  2.If the agency does not intervene before the end of the school day, call the emergency squad.

  3.Make sure the student's parents have been contacted.

 C.MODERATE RISK PROCEDURE

  1.Try to determine the reason(s) for the student's distress. Contact the parents, give them the facts, and ask them to come to the school right away.

  2.Assist the parents in making contact with an agency or resource person who can provide appropriate intervention.

Step Four - Communicate

 A.Inform the appropriate members of the Corporation staff such as the student's teachers and counselors of the facts and the actions being taken. Alert them that they may need to observe the Corporation's confidentiality requirements (A.G. 2411), although the occurrence was not something that developed during counseling.

 B.If the parents request, inform the student's close friends of the facts and the actions being taken.

Step Five - Follow-Up

 A.Determine the extent to which emergency or short-term procedures were completed properly.

 B.Find out if arrangements have been made for long-term clinical and/or support services.

 C.If neither short-term procedures nor long-term services were properly conducted or pursued, consult with the Superintendent to determine appropriate action.

 D.Maintain continuing contact with the student to communicate interest in his/her welfare and support of the long-term services being provided.

 E.Remain alert to the possibility of "copy-cat" suicide attempts by other students.

 F.Evaluate steps A - E.

SUICIDE POSTVENTION PROCESS

If, in spite of all intervention efforts, a suicide should occur, implement the Corporation's Crisis Intervention Plan.

If additional guidance is needed, contact the American Association of Suicidology, 4201 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20008. (202) 237-2280.