Say Something and Safe 2 Say Something
As a school district, we are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students including providing a safe space for students experiencing mental health challenges. Anxiety, depression, and suicide can be difficult to understand and is usually the result of a mental health need. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, “exposure to another person’s suicide (or attempt) or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of death can be one of the many risk factors that youth struggling with mental health conditions cite as a reason they contemplate or attempt suicide.”
It is very important to remember that there are ways to help. Suicide is preventable. By listening, talking, and acting you could save a life. While suicide is typically associated with the pain of mental illness, there are sometimes specific situations that trigger suicidal actions such as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, failing in school, being bullied, or experiencing abuse, loss or other trauma. It is important to learn these warning signs and what to do if you see any of them in a student.
In the coming weeks, students at the Susquehanna Township Middle and High Schools will be receiving training on two different programs, both provided by Sandy Hook Promise. The first program is Say Something and will be delivered to all students in grades 6-12. Say Something teaches students how to recognize signs and signals from individuals who may want to hurt themselves or others and also teaches students how and why to go to a trusted adult for help.
Please encourage your child to talk to you about their feelings and to talk about their concerns. You or your student may see signs of distress in a person, hear about them secondhand, or see them online. Never ignore these signs. At the district level, we have supports in place in each building to help students understand their feelings and to get help in dangerous situations (SAP team, school counselors, school social workers, etc.).
In order to ensure the safety of our students, STSD has put in place a suicide prevention plan and all staff are required to participate in suicide prevention training. In addition, there are partnerships in place that are available to help our students and families. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of important resources.
If you have questions or concerns about your child or another student, please do not hesitate to contact the school counselor, social worker or school nurse. Remember, in the case of emergency, please dial 911. You may also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or Dauphin County Crisis Intervention at (717) 232-7511. Both resources provide support to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Tamara Willis, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools