ERIC Number: ED381712
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov-11
Reference Count: N/A
Issues in Student Suicide and Sudden Death Postvention: Best Practices in School Crisis Response.
Gilliam, Walter S.
Recent statistics indicate that a high school of 2000 students will experience an average of one student suicide every four years. This paper reviews and synthesizes relevant information on issues in school response to student suicide and sudden death. Highlighted are risk factors that school personnel can identify in suicide-prone students, prevention, intervention, postvention, and ways to avoid common mistakes. Student suicides and sudden deaths often influence student and staff morale, affect student achievement, and may even lead to "copy-cat" suicide attempts by other students. Even schools that have crisis plans that address student suicide and sudden death may not be fully prepared to respond in ways that address all relevant complications. The literature indicates that many school crisis plans do not address such concerns as how students are to be informed of the death, who should speak to the media, what sort of student and staff displays of grief are encouraged, what displays may over-glorify death and suicide, and how counseling and suicide awareness may be used as effective postvention. Schools that have developed and practiced a crisis plan that addresses such issues will be better prepared to deal effectively and efficiently with school crises. (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Postvention; Suicide Prevention; Suicide Prevention Programs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Nashville, TN, November 9-11, 1994).