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September is Suicide Prevention Month

During this time of the year, we focus on the role we all play in suicide prevention. As school-based mental health providers, we can take this opportunity to highlight the significance of suicide and the importance of reducing the stigma of reaching out for help, knowing how to talk to others about suicidal thoughts, and understanding what resources are available for those in need.

  • Help spread the word about 988. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has added downloadable print files for wallet cards, magnets, and posters to its 988 Partner Toolkit. The toolkit already includes logo and brand guidelines, key messages, frequently asked questions, fact sheets (English and Spanish), radio PSA scripts (English and Spanish), and more. The 988 print materials are available for ordering from the SAMHSA store and social media shareables about the basics of 988 are now available!
  • #BeThe1To is the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide.
  • For suicide prevention resources created for Virginia schools, please visit the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education Suicide Prevention webpages.
  • 2022 Youth Suicide Prevention Panel Recording: The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) within the Office of Child and Family Services decided to shine a spotlight on youth suicide prevention during Children’s Mental Health Awareness month in May 2022. The panel discussion provides an overview of the landscape of youth suicide nationally and in Virginia, as well as strategies for suicide prevention in youth and young adults.
  • The use of a multi-tiered framework to advance school-based mental health is well supported in the materials and guidance through the Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS). The Jed Foundation (JED) has developed The Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for High Schools, which is grounded in a tiered framework and aims to reduce reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors for suicide, promote overall health and well-being, highlight effective strategies for identifying, and responding to those at risk.