Suicide Prevention

Periodically, windows of opportunities arise for providing inservice at schools about mental health and psychosocial concerns. When such opportunities appear, it may be helpful to access one or more of our Center's Quick Training Aids.

Each of these offers a brief set of resources to guide those providing an inservice session. (They also are a form of quick self-tutorial.)    

Most encompass    
  • key talking points for a short training session    
  • a brief overview of the topic    
  • facts sheets    
  • tools    
  • a sampling of other related information and resources
  • In compiling resource material, the Center tries to identify those that represent "best practice" standards. If you know of better material, please let us know so that we can make improvements.

    Guide for Suggested Talking Points

    1. Brief Overview

    1. Present main points from:
      Youth Suicide/Depression/Violence - Excerpted from Addressing Barriers to Learning Newlsetter.
      1. Highlight the suicide rates and trends for youth in the section titled "About Suicide and Depression." This forms the crux of the argument that youth suicide prevention is important.
      2. Highlight the underlying problems that might lead to suicide, depression, or violence in the section titled "Linked Problems." Many are reluctant to specifically address suicide in classrooms or with individual children. Along with specific strategies outlined in the "Suicide Prevention" box (pg. 7), interventions can focus on enhancing protective factors (see pg. 8 for an illustrative list).
      3. Distribute "Enhancing Protective Factors and Building Assets" (pg. 8) as a handout for reference and/or discussion. What protective factors are already being enhanced by current school programs? What additional asset-building components would be feasible to incorporate in curricula or school programming?

  • Facts
    1. Youth Risk Behavior Survellance Data. - - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
      1. Highlight differences between sadness, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts.
      2. Note gender and age, and cultural differences.
    2. Suicide Statistics. -
      1. Note age difference and discuss.
    3. Injury Mortality Reports ( - CDC customizable summary statistics. Click here for an example customized report (Note: Double-click the yellow boxes in the Acrobat PDF for SMHP tips).
      1. At some point you might be asked for more specific information, like how local trends compare to the national data. This resource can help you prepare for such questions by providing you with customized summary statistics from the CDC Injury Mortality database.
      2. If you know that your audience is likely to ask particular questions, you might want to run the statistics at the website and print out an informative handout ahead of time.

  • Tools/Handouts - Why and How?
    1. Why and How Should Schools Get Involved - Excerpted from Center packet entitled: School Interventions to Prevent Youth Suicide.
      1. Highlight the box on the first page for a concise explanation for why school-based intervention is necessary.
      2. The section titled "On Prevention", provides four succinct recommendations for prevention efforts. Highlight how the current training encompasses these recommendations.
      3. Research-based answers to concerns about more general and more targeted intervention strategies are also included for your reference. These concerns might arise in discussion or in planning, but are not critical to hand out to everyone.
    2. Life-Cycle Commonalities and Age-Group-Specific Aspects of the Suicide Trajectory for Childhood and Adolescence - Included in Center packet on Suicide Prevention, pg. 18.
      1. This should be a handout. It is a comprehensive, well-organized table of potential risk factors in childhood and adolescence.
      2. Highlight the commonalities, these will be helpful in identifying youth at risk even if the age-specific information is not recalled.
    3. A Few Examples of Assessing Risk - Excerpted from a Center packet entitled: School Interventions to Prevent Youth Suicide, pgs. 54-56.
      1. This section contains possible screening tools for suicide risk assessment. Depending on your audience, one or more of these tools might be appropriate to handout and discuss.
      2. Highlight the section on "DSM-IV Criteria..." This information might be most helpful in terms of early intervention before a suicidal crisis. A possible point for discussion is "How is depression screening being conducted?" Have you considered participating in the National Depression Screening Day? programs (

  • Training Programs
    1. Training programs for community members, teachers, school staff, and students - Excerpts from CDC (1992). Youth Suicide Prevention Programs: A Resource Guide. (Available online)
      1. This annotated list is mainly for your reference as organizer of the training. The organizations listed might be able to provide additional literature for the training or follow-up training for implementation of specific intervention strategies.

  • Additional Resources
    1. QuickFind on Suicide Prevention (printer-friendly format)
      To view the web-based quick find on suicide prevention, click here

  • Originals for Overheads
  • The following can be copied to overhead transparencies to assist in presenting this material.
    1. Statistics on Suicide in the United States and Suicide Among the Young Excerpted from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet.
    2. Why should schools get involved?
    3. Suicidal Assessment Checklist Excerpted from our Center packet entitled School Interventions to Prevent Youth Suicide.
    4. Follow-through Steps After Assessing Suicidal Risk Checklist Excerpted from our Center packet entitled School Interventions to Prevent Youth Suicide.

    This material provided by: UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools/Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
    (310) 825-3634/ Fax: (310) 206-8716/ Email:

    Note: Documents in PDF format ( identified with a )
    You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher. Click here to download.