Resources by Topic: Risk Factors

High School

Included are resources on risk factors for suicidality, organized by websites, videos, slide presentations, and publications. These lists are not exhaustive and vary in level of detail. They are appropriate for educators looking for instruction materials on suicidality, as well those who are seeking more information on risk factors and signs of suicidal thinking.

Slide Sets and Presentations

The following selection of slide sets and presentations can be downloaded for use by the general public. Please see individual annotations for more information about a particular set of slides and recommended audience.

  1. Harvard School of Public Health - Means Matter Campaign
    The site offers slide set presentations about lethal means restriction suicide prevention campaigns as well as materials regarding the importance of addressing suicide means. The site has sections about facts, taking action, FAQs, programs, bibliography, useful links, and a section with brochures and presentations available for download. The site contains a presentation about lethal means restriction.
    The entire presentation could be shortened or used as is and is appropriate for high school and undergraduate level audiences
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  2. Harvard School Public Health - Bridge Barriers
    This slide set contains pictures of bridge barriers around the country. In addition, a few slides contain data correlating the installation of bridge barriers to suicide rates. To find this presentation, click on the following link and select Pictures.
    The entire presentation could be shortened or used as is for college or high school level audiences
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  3. Mental Health Toolkit #1: Addressing the Mental Health Behavioral Needs of students
    6 slide introduction to the importance of addressing mental health needs of students and the history behind the development of the mental health toolkit for educators. This material was developed by Janice DeFrances, Ed.D and Patricia Pezzullo, Ph.D of the Associates in Educational Psychology (AEP).
    This is appropriate for those working with at risk youth.
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  4. Mental Health Toolkit #2: Addressing Anxiety in Youth
    10 slide presentation on anxiety, includes symptoms and brain science associated with anxiety. Includes 2 case studies which could be helpful instruction for educators of all levels. This material was developed by Janice DeFrances, Ed.D and Patricia Pezzullo, Ph.D of the Associates in Educational Psychology (AEP).
    This is appropriate for those working with youth at-risk in a school environment.
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  5. Mental Health Toolkit #3 Addressing Depression through Student Support Team
    11 slide presentation around prevalence of depression and steps educators can take to provide support for young people. This would be useful for an administrator concerned about the mental health of the students in one's educational institution and includes case studies and activities for audience to brainstorm problem solving. This material was developed by Janice DeFrances, Ed.D and Patricia Pezzullo, Ph.D of the Associates in Educational Psychology (AEP).
    This presentation is appropriate for educators and administrators.
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  6. Mental Health Toolkit #4: Adjustment Disorders
    This 12 slide presentation includes signs of clinical importance around anxiety and phobias. Includes description of causes and treatments and provides recommendations for the classroom and school level. This material was developed by Janice DeFrances, Ed.D and Patricia Pezzullo, Ph.D of the Associates in Educational Psychology (AEP).
    This is appropriate for educators who work with young people.
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  7. Suicide Basics Handout
    Clicking this link will download a handout which describes the problem of depression in adolescents, symptoms, risk factors, ways to determine if a student is depressed, available treatment options and how to access them, and whole school approaches to prevent suicide.
    This is appropriate for high school level educators and parents.
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  8. Suicide Prevention among LGBT Youth: A Workshop for Professionals Who Serve Youth
    This presentation is designed to assist staff in schools, youth-serving organizations, and suicide prevention programs take action to reduce suicidal behavior among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Topics covered include suicidal behavior among LGBT youth, risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior, strategies to reduce risk, and ways to increase school or agency cultural competence.
    The workshop includes lecture, small group exercises, and group discussion. All of these can be adapted to meet the needs of diverse audiences.
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  9. Suicide Prevention for Adolescents
    Click on 5th bullet for a presentation entitled "Suicide Prevention: Providing Sanctuary for Adolescents in Crisis, Mass Dept of Mental Health Tewksbury, MA". This suicide prevention presentation has 46 slides on suicide prevention for adolescents developed by Dr. Nancy Rappaport at Cambridge Hospital. It covers statistics, means, risk factors, psychological components (depression and mood disorders), as well as strategies for prevention.
    This is appropriate for college or graduate level learners: components could be adapted for a high school level audience.
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  10. Suicide Prevention: Saving Lives One Community at a Time
    This presentation contains facts sheets, statistics and risk factors for depression and suicide, dispels popular myths on the subject, and highlights the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP) research and education programs. It also provides advice to individuals who are faced with someone in their life who may be contemplating suicide.
    The presentation could be shortened or used as is for high school and college level educators.
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Publications

  1. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescent School Victimization: Implications for Young Adult Health and Adjustment. Russell, S., Ryan, C., Toomey, R., Diaz, R., & Sanchez, J. (2011). Journal of School Health, 81(5), 223-230.
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  2. Preventing suicide: A global imperative.
    First WHO report on suicide prevention. World Health Organization calls for coordinated action to reduce suicides worldwide. World Health Organization. (2014). Preventing suicide: A global imperative. Geneva: WHO Press. Read Pages 10-25.
    Students
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  3. Suicide Among Racial/Ethnic Populations in the U.S.: Hispanics. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC).
    This fact sheet analyzes data and research on suicidal behavior among Hispanics in the United States.
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  4. Suicide Rates for African Americans and Caucasians, 1999-2010. American Association of Suicidology.
    This fact sheet compares suicide data between African Americans and American Caucasians, mostly focusing on data in the African American population. In addition, it provides suggestions to the reader on strategies to decrease the suicide rates in his or her community.
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  5. The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What it Means for Schools. (2014). CDC: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: Division of Violence Prevention.
    This article discusses the close relationship between bullying and suicide among American youth. This publication presents facts, statistics, prevention tips and a resource list for educators. Including an additional reading section where educators can find resources examining the connection between bullying and suicide.
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  6. The Role of High School Teachers in Preventing Suicide. (2012). Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
    This article, created by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SRPC) discusses the need for suicide prevention in American high schools. In addition, this publication includes tips for high school teachers on how to recognize suicidal risk factors and warning signs, intervene and reach out to students who show signs of suicidal intent, and how to use external resources to prevent suicide.
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Courses and Training Materials

This section includes a variety of material about suicide prevention courses and trainings. For the high school level, selected material consists of workshops and online modules. At the college and graduate levels, there is material on suicide prevention, as well as on related topics, such as risk factors, depression, and mental illness. Also listed are course syllabi from professors who presently include suicide prevention in their courses. The section for care providers is recommended for clinicians and health care providers of all types.

  1. Mental Health First Aid
    Mental Health First Aid offers trainings designed to provide information on depression, mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders. Participants will receive instructions on ways to help a person developing a mental health disorder or in a crisis. Local courses are offered throughout the state of Rhode Island, and include regular training classes and train the trainer courses.
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  2. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) In the Mix Lesson Plan
    This is a suicide prevention course for high school audiences with a video featuring the band Third Eye Blind discussing depression in youth. Objectives include learning key concepts of suicide prevention, understanding facts vs. myths, learning risk factors and warning signs of suicide and what to do for an at-risk friend.
    Appropriate for high school aged audience
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  3. QPR Institute: QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention
    QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer, three steps taught during this course that can help prevent suicide. QPR is an emergency response to someone who is in crisis and needs an immediate intervention. Both individuals and organizations can enroll in this training. When the course is completed, participants are prepared to teach QPR to others.
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  4. Teenage Health Teaching Modules
    Produced by the Education Development Center (EDC), Teenage Health Teaching Modules is a comprehensive school health curriculum for grades 6 through 12.
    Appropriate for high school level educators.
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  5. The Trevor Project: Lifeguard Workshop Program
    This program uses a structured, age-appropriate curriculum with trained facilitators to address topics including sexual orientation and gender identity, the impacts of language and behavior on LGBTQ youth and suicide prevention skills in schools. The Trevor Lifeguard Workshop Program is available free of charge to educators and youth service providers in California, New York and Philadelphia. Locations outside of these areas may be accommodated for a nominal fee to cover travel expenses of workshop facilitators. Call 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).
    Appropriate for high school or college level, focused on issues surrounding LGBT populations.
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Movies and DVDs

This section lists a selection of videos about suicide prevention. Please see individual annotations for more information about a particular video and recommended audience

  1. It Gets Better Project
    Created in September 2010 in response to youth suicide among LGBT population, author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment because of their sexual orientation. This website describes the project and includes a YouTube video of Dan Savage and his husband reflecting about their difficulties growing up along with more than 10,000 testimonials of LGBT persons.
    This is appropriate for high school and undergraduate level educators and parents; also recommended for those working with LGBT youth.
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  2. Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program
    A suicide prevention program at a school-wide level produced by hazelden.org. It includes facts about suicide and students' role in suicide prevention and resources available in the school and community. Also includes a presentation for parents to answer questions and involve them in the school's suicide prevention activities.
    This is recommended for high school level educators, school officials and administrators, and parents
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  3. More Than Sad - Preventing Teen Suicide
    This American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) training program helps educators to better understand suicidal behavior in adolescents. It features two films, approximately 25 minutes in length that provide information on the causes of youth suicide, warning signs and steps that they can take to get help for students.
    Appropriate for high school audience.
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  4. Risk Factors for Suicide with Judy Bailey
    "Risk Factors for Suicide with Judy Bailey" is a documentary style piece using interview segments with experts, produced by SPINZ (Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand). This 7 minute resource is available on You Tube.
    These videos are appropriate for high school and undergraduate level educators.
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  5. Signs of Suicide (Kentucky example video part 1 of 2)
    Using the Signs of Suicide (SOS) Program, the 2-part video is for use with school decision makers regarding the need for school-based suicide prevention/postvention programs and crisis planning. School administrators and staff share their experiences of dealing with the suicides of their students. An overview is given of school-based suicide prevention programs and crisis planning to reduce suicide among middle and high school students, including potential suicide contagion. The video emphasizes the importance of educating staff using gatekeeper programs and screening students with evidence-based programs.
    This video is recommended for high school level educators as well as school officials.
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  6. Signs of Suicide (Kentucky example video part 2 of 2)
    Using the Signs of Suicide (SOS) Program, the 2-part video is for use with school decision makers regarding the need for school-based suicide prevention/postvention programs and crisis planning. School administrators and staff share their experiences of dealing with the suicides of their students. An overview is given of school-based suicide prevention programs and crisis planning to reduce suicide among middle and high school students, including potential suicide contagion. The video emphasizes the importance of educating staff using gatekeeper programs and screening students with evidence-based programs.
    This video is recommended for high school level educators as well as school officials.
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  7. Voices Against Violence: Bullying Prevention
    This video is produced by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and features a series of vignettes. The moral and emotional evolution of the bystander is charted on the screen as the student grapples with the decision to intervene.
    Appropriate for high school learners. Although the video does not specifically address suicide prevention, its violence prevention message is appropriate for classroom discussion and provides an opportunity to address suicide prevention in the context of violence prevention
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  8. Warning Signs for Suicide with Judy Bailey
    This companion to the resource "Risk Factors for Suicide with Judy Bailey" focuses on warning signs and is produced by SPINZ (Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand). This 5-minute resource is available on You Tube.
    This video is appropriate for high school and undergraduate level educators.
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Websites

Below are listed the homepages for national suicide prevention organizations. These websites contain information for targeted as well as general audiences.

  1. American Association of Suicidology (AAS) Recommended Videos
    The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) issues a list of existing videos regarding various aspects of suicide and prevention with a short description of each.
    The videos listed are primarily about young people and are recommended for a variety of audiences and uses.
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  2. ReachOut
    ReachOut is a non-profit organization designed to, “help youth strengthen mental wellness through technology-driven resources and peer support.” The website includes a series of fact sheets written by young adults and mental health professionals intended to educate youth about suicide, including causes of depression and how to help someone who experiencing a mental health crisis.
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  3. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
    SPRC supports the nation's mental health infrastructure by providing states, government agencies, private organizations, colleges and universities, and suicide survivor and mental health consumer groups with access to resources that can bolster efforts to develop programs, implement intervention and promote policies to prevent suicide.
    This appropriate for all audiences.
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  4. University of Michigan Depression Center
    The University of Michigan Depression center provides useful information regarding mental health disorders and suicide.
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Data Sources

These are commonly cited sources for suicide statistics. This material is recommended for all audiences. Local and national statistics can easily be found and incorporated into an existing presentation, lecture, or workshop.

  1. Self-inflicted Injury/Suicide FastStats
    A web-based resource from the National Center for Health Statistics, which includes numbers and rates of suicide deaths and links to other Federal information and sources of data on suicide.
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Statistics

These sets of statistics represent commonly cited, public sources of data related to suicide, injury, and mental health. A statistical programming package (SAS/STATA/SPSS) is recommended. Recommended Audience and Setting: This material is recommended primarily for researchers, educators at the college, graduate, and medical school level ,and health professionals.

  1. National Suicide Statistics
    The American Association of Suicidology prepares a series of data reports based on the National Vital Statistics Reports from the National Center for Health Statistics. The most current data available is from 2009. These reports are short and can be used to provide state, regional, and national level information on suicide deaths and rates as well as gender and age specific rates.
    This is appropriate for educators.
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