23 Ways to Support Learners Who Are at Risk for Suicide

Are you looking for ways to support students who are at risk for suicide? If so, keep reading.

1. Provide a consistent daily routine (schedule).

2. Do not let the student be unsupervised anywhere in the school environment.

3. Refrain from discussions or prevent stimuli in their surroundings that remind the student of unpleasant experiences/sensitive topics (e.g., divorce, death, unemployment, alcoholism, etc.).

4. Do not criticize. On occasions where correcting the student, be honest yet compassionate. Never cause the student to feel bad about themselves.

5. Intervene early and often when there is a problem to prevent more severe problems from happening.

6. Always treat the student with the utmost respect. Talk objectively at all times.

7. Maintain trust and confidentiality with the student at all times.

8. Let the student voice their opinion in a situation to avoid becoming angry or upset.

9. Converse with the student about ways of handling situations successfully without conflict (e.g., walk away from a situation, change to another learning experience, ask for help, etc.).

10. Praise the student for demonstrating appropriate behavior based on the duration of time the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the amount of time required for reinforcement.

11. Praise those students in the classroom who engage in appropriate behavior.

12. Create classroom rules: • Complete every assignment. • Complete assignments quietly. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks • Meet task expectations. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

13. Talk with the student to explain(a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., menacing to self) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., talking about the situation, demonstrating self-control, problem-solving, etc.).

14. Praise the student for engaging in appropriate behavior: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

15. Convey concerns and communicate fears to the administration and seek a referral to an agency for investigation of abuse or neglect.

16. Examine the possibility of the student being involved in the use of drugs or alcohol.

17. Become a resource for parents by providing information on agencies, counseling programs, etc.

18. Organize their surroundings so the student does not have time to dwell on real or imagined problems.

19. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

20. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

21. Consider using a socio-emotional learning app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using an emotional intelligence app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

23. Consider using a school counseling app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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