Creating suicide safety in schools: A public health suicide prevention program in New York State.
Breux, P., Boccio, D.E., & Brodsky, B.S.
Suicide is a serious public health problem worldwide. The World Health Organization calls for collaboration among all sectors of society using a multi-tiered approach to address risk factors. Schools have played a central public health role in fighting infectious diseases, malnutrition, community violence, accidental injuries, and heart disease. Similarly, when it comes to youth suicide prevention, schools are critically important community institutions. Schools are central civic institutions for building the resilience and positive helping environment necessary for the prevention of suicide. In this paper we will describe a program called “Creating Suicide Safety in Schools” (CSSS), which was developed to address the need for more comprehensive and consistent suicide prevention training for school settings. The CSSS provides a framework for integrating school-based suicide prevention best practices, and the program is being implemented and evaluated in New York State. We will outline the CSSS model, the workshop, and how it is disseminated. The CSSS Workshop has been offered to school personnel for more than five years and individuals from several hundred schools have participated in this training opportunity. Preliminary findings of the program’s acceptability in terms of attitudes, knowledge, perceptions of administrative support, and sense of empowerment based on a survey of 93 participants, will be presented.