Trainings in Suicide Awareness: A Focus on School Settings

By Gibbons, Melinda M.; Studer, Jeannine | Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research, Summer 2011 | Go to article overview

Trainings in Suicide Awareness: A Focus on School Settings


Gibbons, Melinda M., Studer, Jeannine, Journal of Professional Counseling, Practice, Theory, & Research


School counselors at all grade levels are faced with student suicidal ideation on a regular basis. As the primary mental health providers at their sites, school counselors are the ideal professionals to provide suicide awareness training for school staff and students. School counselors were surveyed regarding the type of suicide awareness training they provided to staff and students and their reasons for not providing training, if that was the case. Results from this exploratory survey suggested that few school counselors provide suicide awareness training to staff or students. Implications for school counselors and administrators are included.

Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death for all age groups in the United States, and the 3rd leading cause of death among children and adolescents between 10-19 years of age (Hamilton et al., 2007). One person completes suicide approximately every 16.2 minutes, and there are approximately 25 suicide attempts for every death throughout the nation. Furthermore, female high school students attempt suicide more than twice as often compared to their male peers (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009). Based on these statistics, greater awareness is needed to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicidal behaviors; however how school personnel train teachers and others regarding suicidal ideation among school-aged youth remains unclear Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the types of suicide awareness training available at schools, the role school counselors take in this training, and the perceived helpfulness of a pre-made training on suicide awareness.

According to McAdams and Fosters (2000), 24% of all counselors experience the death of a client due to suicide, and in is one of the most frequently reported incidents by mental health practitioners in all settings. When a client is suicidal, many counselors experience anxiety not ny about their ability to adequately assess and intervene, but also apprehension for their client's well being (Rosenberg, 1999) Other researchers report similar findings with mental health workers noting low confidence (Reis & Cornell, 2008) or little formal training on suicide assessment (Oordt, Jobes, Fonseca, &c Schmidt 2009). This anxiety may be exacerbated when counselors feel ill-prepared to assess suicidal ideation, and uncertain about their responsibilities in the aftermath of a suicide.

Legal implications also exist related to suicide in schools. Milsom (2002) noted that principals should be prepared to protect their school staff from potential litigation. Ways to avoid possible liability include implementing a suicide prevention program, educating all school staff on suicide awareness, and abiding by the duty to prevent harm to students. McCarthy and Webb (2000) added that training school staff on suicide awareness is one aspect of protecting students from selfharm. Both school counselors and administrators can take a leadership role in adding this type of training for all staff at their sites.

Contrary to the beliefs of many school counselors and other school personnel, young children do commit suicide (Hamilton et al., 2007). Such faulty beliefs may lead professionals to underestimate the suicidal intent of a child or lead to clinical assessment error (Wise &c Spengler, 1997), perhaps resulting in the untimely death of a young child. Researchers (Hamilton et al., 2007) found that for children, suicide was the only cause of death to show a significant increase in recent years. In fact, deaths from suicide among 10-14 year olds increased from 6% to 7.2% of all deaths between 2003 and 2004. Even suicidal ideation in young children, regardless of actual attempt, dramatically increases the later risk of suicide in adolescents (Pfeffer, 2001). Children of all ages are at risk for suicide.

An unfortunate reality is that yourth suicide influences school policy and personnel. Statistics reveal that for every suicide there are six other people profoundly affected by the suicide, with approximately five million Americans who became suicide survivors in the past 25 years (Mcintosh, 2010. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Trainings in Suicide Awareness: A Focus on School Settings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.