Creating Suicide Safety in Schools


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Suicide Prevention Center of New York State (SPCNY)

The Creating Suicide Safety in Schools workshop is available from the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State (SPCNY). Contact SPCNY for workshop information and costs.


Creating Suicide Safety in Schools (CSSS) is a one-day workshop designed for school-based interdisciplinary teams, empowering them to establish realistic short-term plans for effective suicide prevention and response planning. Participants spend time planning and problem solving for specific actions needed for suicide-safer schools. The workshop’s format includes didactic presentations coupled with small workgroup discussions, checklists, group planning documents, and exposure to free and low-cost resources that meet best practice recommendations and/or evidence-based practice standards. Creating Suicide Safety in Schools incorporates key aspects of the Social-Ecological Prevention Model, public health perspectives, and recommendations for school-based suicide prevention practices (e.g.. Berman, Jobes, & Silverman, 2006; Miller, 2011). Further, the workshop explores six broad categories of school-based suicide safety: (1) policies, procedures, and standardized protocols; (2) staff training; (3) promotion of student protective factors; (4) identification and reduction of student risk factors: (5) postvention planning; and (6) engagement of family and community.

To accompany the workshop, the Suicide Prevention Center of New York developed a resource binder that included public domain materials using two criteria: (1) well-researched and well-aligned with principles of the Best Practices Registry; (2) usable by school personnel for suicide prevention planning. Original material was added to introduce and organize existing materials and to fill in missing information. Evaluations of early workshops guided the refinement of materials in the binder and led to added planning worksheets, checklists, and structured activities.

Program Objectives

School personnel that attend the Creating Suicide Safety in Schools workshop will be able to: 1. Review, refine, and implement school-based suicide prevention, intervention and postvention activities. 2. Create a school-specific comprehensive suicide prevention and response plan. 3. Assess suicide program and training needs. 4. Access available local and national resources for school-based suicide prevention.

Implementation Essentials

Before the implementation of school-based suicide prevention programs, protocols for response to students who may be at risk of suicide should be developed and disseminated.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 5.2: Encourage community-based settings to implement effective programs and provide education that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.

Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.