Responding After a Suicide: Best Practices for Schools
Schools that experience a suicide in their communities are often uncertain about how to respond and can benefit from others with expertise in this area. State and local organizations contacted by schools in crisis can assist by providing information about best practices and practical resources. This webinar presents safe and effective ways in which schools, and the organizations working with them, can respond following a suicide. Three speakers representing national and school-based perspectives will discuss relevant research, best practices and key resources, including a new online toolkit for schools. They will be joined by discussants describing their coordinated response to one school’s suicide crisis. The webinar format will be interactive, with opportunities for participants to ask questions.
Participants will be able to:
- Describe best practices and key resources for responding to a suicide in the school community.
- Understand how state and local organizations can help schools in crisis following a suicide.
- Access After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools and other related resources.
Additional resources to be referenced during the webinar:
- After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools
- Los Angeles County Youth Suicide Prevention Project http://preventsuicide.lacoe.edu/welcome.php
- A Guide for a School’s Response in the Aftermath of Sudden Death http://www.starcenter.pitt.edu/files/document/Postvention.pdf
- Lifeline Online Postvention Manual
Scott Poland, Ed.D, is an internationally recognized expert on school crisis, youth violence, suicide intervention, self injury, school safety, threat assessment, parenting and the delivery of psychological services in schools. He is currently an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Poland is widely considered a pioneer in school suicide prevention having authored one of the most respected works on the subject in his 1989 book entitled, Suicide Intervention in the Schools. He is currently the co-director of a three year federal grant for suicide prevention at N.S.U. He has lectured and written extensively on these subjects including four books and numerous Best Practices chapters and his writings have been translated into several languages. He served on the President’s Roundtable on Youth Violence and has testified about the needs of children before the U. S. Congress on four occasions. Dr. Poland is a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team for the National Association of School Psychologists and currently serves as the Prevention Director for the American Association of Suicidology.
Joanne Harpel, J.D., M.Phil, the survivor of her brother’s suicide, joined the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in 2002 as its first-ever Director of Survivor Initiatives. Ms. Harpel is responsible for the full spectrum of AFSP’s initiatives relating to the aftermath of suicide, including International Survivors of Suicide Day, the Support Group Facilitator Training Program, and the Survivor Outreach Program. A frequent media spokesperson and lecturer throughout the country, she also oversees AFSP’s public affairs efforts, including constituency relations, media relations, communications, and social media.
Richard Lieberman, Ma, LEP, NCSP has coordinated Suicide Prevention Services for Los Angeles Unified School District for the past 25 years. He is a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. Mr. Lieberman is co-author of School Crisis Prevention and Intervention: the PREPaRE Model and numerous book chapters and articles on youth suicide prevention, crisis intervention and responding to self injurious students in the schools. He has co-written and appeared in numerous violence and suicide prevention videos including an HBO documentary and serves on national crisis teams, sent on behalf of the US Department of Education, to assist many communities in the aftermath of youth suicide clusters and school violence.