Networks for Life: An Educator’s Role in Youth Suicide Prevention


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


Crisis Connections

Program costs vary. Contact Crisis Connections for more information.

Networks for Life: An Educator’s Role in Youth Suicide Prevention is a 3-hour training on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in the school setting. Designed for use in Washington State, it covers (1) the scope of youth suicide locally; (2) risk and protective factors; (3) school policies, procedures, and crisis response plans; (4) strategies for creating a preventive culture; (5) signs of depression and suicidal thinking in adolescents; (6) a basic 3-step intervention process; (7) local resources; and (8) best practices in postvention and the prevention of suicide contagion. The training emphasizes schools’ important and unique role in youth suicide prevention and gives participants specific, easy-to-use tools. Discussions, brainstorms, practice scenarios, and opportunities to review policies and resources are included.

Networks for Life evolved from many years of work in the field by Washington’s Youth Suicide Prevention Program staff, including teachers, social workers, and other experts in adolescent development. The educator’s version of this training was created in response to requests for more integration of one-on-one intervention skills with local resource networks and school policies. During the 2012-13 school year, this training was implemented and tested through a series of workshops across the state of Washington and edited based on input from educators representing 83 school districts. Information was drawn from credible sources including the Washington State Department of Health, SAMHSA, and SPRC.

Program Objectives

Educators who participate in Networks for Life training will have increased:

  1. Capacity to identify and appropriately respond to signs of adolescent stress, depression, and suicidal thinking; 
  2. Understanding of how risk factors, stress, and depression are and are not related to suicide; and,
  3. Understanding of their role in youth suicide prevention.

Implementation Essentials

  • Schools that implement Networks for Life should have protocols in place to guide response to students who may be at risk of suicide.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

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