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ERIC Number: EJ774531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Keeping Adolescents "Alive and Kickin' It": Addressing Suicide in Schools
Fisher, Douglas
Phi Delta Kappan, v87 n10 p784-786 Jun 2006
Every two hours and 15 minutes, a person under the age of 25 completes a suicide. Since suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 19, it is hard to imagine a high school teacher who has not been touched by this epidemic. The issue is of such national significance that in September 2004, more than 350 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the entire U.S. Senate voted to pass the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, bipartisan legislation to reduce youth suicide. The bill authorized $82 million over three years for screening, assessment, and counseling. While this seems like a great deal of money and it will certainly help educators address the problem of adolescent suicide, it will not work unless classroom teachers and building administrators serve as an early warning system. In this article, the author encourages teachers and administrators to be on the watch for the signs of adolescent suicide, and to know how to respond when they come face to face with this daunting reality. Furthermore, they must confront this epidemic and provide space within schools for students to disclose their feelings to a trusting adult. Together with social services and healthcare providers, they can help reduce the toll of youth suicide. (Contains 4 endnotes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A