Suicide Prevention Plan
The School Board is committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of its students and school community. District policy JLDBB Suicide Prevention and Response supports federal, state, and local efforts to provide education on youth suicide awareness and prevention; to establish methods of prevention, intervention, and response to suicide or suicide attempt (“postvention”); and to promote access to suicide awareness, prevention and postvention resources.
This page includes:
- District & building liaisons
- Student and staff education
- Suicide warning signs
- Protective factors
- Resuming a school routine
District & Building Liaisons
The district has designated the following staff members as Building Suicide Prevention Liaisons in the event that a safety concern arises for a student.
|School District Suicide Prevention Coordinator
|Bill Hughen, Director School Counseling
|(603) 886-1260 x75012
|Alvirne High School
|Bill Hughen, Director School Counseling
|603) 886-1260 x75012
|Hudson Memorial School
|Karen O'Brien, School Counselor
|(603) 886-1240 x65019
|Hills Garrison Elementary School
|Jen Perkins, School Counselor
|(603) 881-3930 x45007
|Nottingham West Elementary School
|Christal Fitzgerald, School Counselor
|(603) 881-3930 x55015
|Early Learning Center
|Lauren Skinner, School Counselor
|(603) 886-1248 x35009
Student and Staff Education
All students are taught, in a developmentally appropriate manner, about making safe and healthy choices, coping strategies and ways to seek help. Students in older grades grades are taught about risk factors and warning signs of mental disorders and suicide.
ALL district staff has annual training on youth suicide risk factors, warning signs, protective factors, response procedures, referrals, post-intervention and resources available within the school and community.
If a Hudson student discloses suicidal thoughts, it is the district’s procedure that the student be evaluated by a mental health professional to determine the level of risk to their safety.
According to New Hampshire Law RSA 169C, failure to provide adequate services to a child in need is considered neglect, and all school personnel are mandated reporters.
Suicide Warning Signs (not a complete list)
- Talking about death and dying in general
- Talking about suicide or wanting to die; talking about means or methods to kill oneself; obtaining a weapon or other means
- Isolating self from friends and family
- Feeling life is meaningless; feeling hopeless, helpless
- Putting life in order or giving away possessions
- Picking fights, arguing, irritability, increased anger
- Refusing to help, feeling beyond help
- Sudden improvement in need after being down or withdrawn
- Neglect of appearance, hygiene
- Sleep and/or appetite changes
- Dropping of activities
- Direct verbal clues such as “I wish I were dead,” “You will be better off without me,” “I am so tired of it all,” “Pretty soon you will not have to worry about me,” or “No one will miss me when I am gone.
If you observe any of these signs or have other reasons to suspect your child may be at risk of suicide, ASK THEM. Say, “I am concerned about you. You are not yourself lately. Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
Other considerations: Children are at far greater risk for suicide when medications or guns are accessible in the home. LOCK WEAPONS UP.
Other factors may increase suicidal behavior such as previous attempts, alcohol and substance abuse, mental illness, a family tragedy, and exposure to other young people who have experience with suicidal thinking/behavior. Grief and loss issues such as the death of a relative, friend, or per, or a breakup of a relationship can trigger thoughts of dying.
Receiving information that your child is thinking about suicide can produce a wide range of emotions including disbelief, anxiety, sadness, guilt, and anger, to name a few. All these reactions are normal and common in such situations. Fortunately, there are services and supportive professionals willing to step forward to offer information and a helping hand.
If you receive a phone call from school staff informing you that your child is at risk, you will be provided with some recommendations and requirements for additional assessment. The safety of your child is our priority.
Protective Factors (not a complete list)
Protective factors are the positive conditions and resources that promote resiliency and reduce the potential for youth suicide. These include:
- Close family bonds
- A powerful sense of self-worth
- A sense of personal control
- A stable environment
- Best friends
- Responsibility to others
- Lack of access to lethal means
Resuming the School Routine
Once your child is determined to no longer be at imminent risk of harming him/herself, it is helpful to create a sense of routine and structure. It is also helpful to keep the school informed so that your child may return to their coursework and activities as soon as possible. With this in mind, we ask that a re-entry meeting with administration, counselor, and other staff members deemed necessary be held after the assessment and before your child begins their next school day. It is imperative that the parents and student attend this meeting.
Acting as your child’s advocate, the school counselor and school nurse can be of tremendous support. The school nurse can regularly assess for any medical complications or medication side effects. District policy states that all medications a child uses are to be kept under the supervision of the Nurse to ensure its appropriate application and monitor safe usage. We would like to help coordinate care between your health providers and our school. Let us know what your child needs and how we can help. We will do our best to support your child and you during this challenging time.