The curriculum based programs may aid in clarifying myths concerning suicide and suicidal behavior (Balaguru et al., 2013). Evidence-based interventions typically have classroom lesson components as well as educational
CHILD AND TEEN 7 components for staff (Lamis, Underwood, & D’Amore, 2016). Balaguru et al. (2013) suggested that the best prevention programs should be long-term, seek professional mental health resources, target all risk factors, and engage the whole school community. Evidence-based prevention programs. Evaluating the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs is critical (Lamis et al., 2016). However, due to the sensitive nature of the topic, researchers have had trouble evaluating school-based evidence-based prevention programs (Lamis et al., 2016; Shannonhouse, Lin, Shaw, & Porter, 2017). ASIST is an empirically- supported suicide prevention program, according to Shannonhouse et al. (2017). The program is a 2-day long suicide intervention training program recognized by the CDC in which trainees have reported feeling more competent and confident to intervene with those at risk for suicide (Shannonhouse et al., 2017). ASIST can be viewed as a gatekeeper training program, which is designed to increase participants’ knowledge of youth suicide and risk factors of those who commit suicide. Gatekeepers may deliver school-wide interventions (Robinson et al., 2013). Educational interventions are useful for providing information to staff as well as parents (Balaguru et al., 2013). Research by Lamis et al. (2016) indicated that gatekeeper training programs were effective in educating school personnel on identifying youth at risk of suicide. According to Shannonhouse et al. (2017), school personnel trained in ASIST reported feeling more comfortable intervening with a person at risk for suicide because of the skills and knowledge gained from the program. Another evidence-based prevention practice includes suicide screening for youth in schools. Findings by Robinson et al. (2013) supported the use of screening programs. The research indicated that screening programs aided in successfully identifying at-risk students who would not have come forward on their own. According to Wiley (2012), school counselors act as
CHILD AND TEEN 8 the liaison between at-risk students and mental health resources; therefore, the counselor must educate the school staff on warning signs for early identification. Recommended approaches. For school counselors, it is vital that suicide assessment is quick and offers immediate assistance. When a student is referred to the counselor for being at- risk for suicide, the counselor assesses the student’s intent by interviewing the student. The counselor determines the student’s intent, plan, and availability of means to commit suicide before alerting the parents of the student’s risk and providing resources. During the interview process, counselors may use the technique known as IS THE PATH WARM. This is a mnemonic device in “identifying ideation, substance abuse, purposefulness, anxiety, trapped, hopelessness, withdrawal, anger, recklessness, and mood changes” (Wiley, 2012). The counselor is able to identify the risk of the student by using the IS THE PATH WARM technique.
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