identify the risk of the student by using the IS THE PATH WARM technique. Another approach identified by Wiley (2012) is the SLAP method. SLAP stands for the Specific, Lethality, Availability, Proximity method. The counselor questions the student to determine if there is a specific plan, how lethal the plan is, the availability to follow through, and the proximity to crisis responders. Wiley (2012) also recommended The Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide as a tool for schools to assess current prevention plans and to provide resources for faculty, staff, and students in identifying risk factors and providing information on prevention and intervention. Postvention Methods Most literature concerning school-based suicide interventions focus on the effectiveness and implementation of prevention programs; however, the response and recovery intervention process is just as important as prevention (Szumilas & Kutcher, 2011). When a young person commits suicide, the school community is impacted. Those who knew the victim or were exposed to the suicide may develop feelings of depression, suicidal ideation, or guilt (Cox et al., 2016). It is important for services to be available for the community after the suicide of an
CHILD AND TEEN 9 adolescent. Postvention services are defined as strategies targeting individuals after an event (Szumilas & Kutcher, 2011). According to Cox et al. (2016), postventions were developed to facilitate recovery and prevent cluster suicides, which are multiple suicides in a community, after an incident. Postventions aid in minimizing distress of the school community. Robinson et al. (2013) researched postvention methods implemented in schools. Results showed that helpful common practices were support sessions for the school community as well as relatives of the deceased, consultation with the family of the deceased, and individual counselling sessions for students and staff. In order to avoid confusion, Kerr et al. (2010) wrote that a before school meeting may be helpful in notifying school faculty and staff of a student’s suicide ensuring all facts are presented and understood before addressing the surviving students with honesty. Fineran (2012) stated that effective postvention plans reduce the risk of future incidents, guarantee self-care plans for postvention team members, promote healing for the school community, and minimize negative impact on the school community. The role of the school counselor . Fineran (2012) stated that the school counselor’s role should be to develop postvention plans and organize counseling for the aftermath of a student’s suicide. Postvention plans should be developed and understood by all school personnel for the purpose of adequately preparing for the aftermath of a student suicide (Fineran, 2012). According to Kerr (as cited in Fineran, 2012), it is important that the school counselor aid in the development of plans and see that the school personnel adhere to the plan’s procedures in order to avoid more harm to surviving students. In the development of postvention plans, the school counselor is responsible for establishing a postvention team including community members, school personnel, trained teachers and administrators, and community resources.
- Spring '14