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Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention: Act on FACTS

The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide Releases Free, Online Teacher Training

The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide recently introduced the update to its Best Practices, free, online training for educators Making Educators Partners in Youth Suicide Prevention: Act on FACTS. Developed by national suicide prevention expert and SPTS Clinical Director, Maureen Underwood, LCSW, the training is available immediately at www.sptsuniversity.org.

With the goal of providing new and updated information from the field of youth suicide prevention, the project began filming in September of 2014 at Neptune High School, New Jersey. Survivors of suicide loss shared their personal stories, while many mental health experts, including but not limited to, David Bond of The Trevor Project, Maureen Underwood of SPTS, and Mary Pat Angelini of Preferred Behavioral Health, gave detailed accounts regarding at-risk populations, warning signs, risk factors, and what the referral process means for educators, counselors and members of the school community. New to the training is the specific inclusion of four elevated at-risk youth populations: students who identify as LGBTQ, students with a history of bullying, gifted students, and students who have had a previous suicide attempt. Through the use of role-plays, the training embraces school culture and presents real-life scenarios for youth suicide prevention methods.

While the initial version of the free online training, introduced in 2008, was completed by over 70,000 users throughout the country, the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide anticipates training over 150,000 educators in the first few years with this new version of its flagship training. The training, which focuses on the competent community model, helps educators and school staff to understand their role for suicide prevention and how important it is to recognize their potential role as “Trusted Adults”.