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5350 AdmGuide_Suicide Intervention Process

In compliance with Board of Education Policy 5350 any time a staff member encounters a situation in which a
student appears to be contemplating suicide, the following process should be followed carefully.
Step One - Stabilize the Situation
    A. Under no circumstances is a suicidal student to be left alone.
    B. Converse with the student immediately to determine if s/he has any dangerous instrumentalities (weapon,
        substance, or other material capable of inflicting a mortal wound) on or nearby his/her person.
    C. If the student will allow, immediately remove any dangerous instrumentalities from the student and the
        student's environment.
    D. If the student will agree, accompany him/her to a prearranged, nonthreatening place away from other
        students and other people but where there is another adult and a telephone close by. If the principal can be
        notified without leaving the student, do so as quickly as possible. If the student will not agree, stay calm and
        remain with him/her until someone comes.
Either the principal (if available) or the staff member should proceed to Step Two without delay.
Step Two - Assess the Risk
    A. Stay relaxed and talk calmly to the student to assess the risk of the student harming himself/herself. Listen
        intently to what the student is saying and avoid giving advice. Keep questions nonjudgmental.
    B. If the student will not relinquish a dangerous instrumentality, use EXTREME RISK PROCEDURE (Step Three
    C. If the student is in imminent danger of harming himself/herself, use SEVERE RISK PROCEDURE (Step
        Three B).
    D. If the student is not in imminent danger of harming himself/herself, use MODERATE RISK PROCEDURE
        (Step Three C).
Step Three - Take Appropriate Action
            1. Contact the police.
            2. Keep the student engaged in conversation as well as reassuring him/her until the police arrive.
            3. After the police arrive, and if good rapport has been established with the student, remain present to
                provide continuity and support as the police attempt to get the student to relinquish the dangerous
            4. Contact the student's parents and inform them of what has transpired and of the actions being taken.
            1. Determine if the student's distress is the result of parental abuse, neglect, or exploitation. If so, notify
                Protective Services immediately, give them the facts, request them to intervene, and follow their
                instructions. If not, call the Milwaukee County Mental Health Services immediately, give them the facts,
                request them to intervene, and follow their instructions.
            2. If neither agency will intervene before the end of the school day, call the emergency squad.
            3. Make sure the student's parents have been contacted.
            1. Try to determine the reason(s) for the student's distress. Contact the parents, give them the facts, and
                ask them to come to the school right away.
            2. Assist the parents in making contact with an agency or resource person who can provide appropriate
Step Four - Communicate
    A. Inform the appropriate members of the District staff such as social worker and other student services staff of
        the facts and the actions being taken. Alert them that they need to observe the District's confidentiality
        requirements (AG 2411), although the occurrence was not something that developed during counseling.
    B. Student services staff communicate the facts and the actions being taken. Alert them that they need to
        observe the District's confidentiality requirements (AG 2411), although the occurrence as not something that
        developed during counseling.
    C. If the parents request, inform the student's close friends of the facts and the actions being taken.
Step Five - Follow-Up
    A. Determine the extent to which emergency or short-term procedures were completed properly.
    B. Find out if arrangements have been made for long-term clinical and/or support services.
    C. If neither short-term procedures nor long-term services were properly conducted or pursued, consult with the
        Superintendent to determine appropriate action.
    D. Maintain continuing contact with the student to communicate interest in his/her welfare and support of the
        long-term services being provided.
    E. Remain alert to the possibility of "copy-cat" suicide attempts by other students.
    F. Evaluate Steps A - E.
If, in spite of all intervention efforts, a suicide should occur, implement the District's Crisis Intervention Plan.
If additional guidance is needed, contact the American Association of Suicidology, 5221 Wisconsin Avenue N.W.
2nd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20015. (202) 237-2280.
Approved/Adopted:  July 13, 2009
Sharon Weinstock,
Jul 29, 2011, 6:07 AM