Suicide Prevention Plan
Senate Bill 52, also known as "Adi's Act", was passed in Oregon in 2019. This legislation requires school districts to develop and publicly post the school district's plan for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention response activities, beginning no later than the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens in Oregon. Teens face a barrage of pressures and stressors that, if uncared for, can amplify the mental health risk factors most commonly associated with suicide. When teens feel connected to their schools, friends and caring adults, they are better equipped to cope with life in a healthy way.
The purpose of this plan is to protect the health and well-being of all students by having procedures in place to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in and respond to suicide.
The Beaverton School District:
- Recognizes that physical and mental health are integral components of student outcomes, both educationally and beyond graduation
- Further recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among young people
- Has an ethical responsibility to take a proactive approach in preventing deaths by suicide
- Acknowledges the school’s role in providing an environment that is sensitive to individual and societal factors that place youth at greater risk for suicide and helps to foster positive youth development and resilience
- Acknowledges that comprehensive suicide prevention policies include prevention, intervention and postvention components
WHAT SCHOOLS NEED TO KNOW
- School staff are frequently considered the first line of contact with potentially suicidal students. Most school personnel are neither qualified, nor expected, to provide the in-depth assessment or counseling necessary for treating a suicidal student. They are responsible for taking reasonable and prudent actions to help at-risk students, such as notifying parents, making appropriate referrals and securing outside assistance when needed.
- All school personnel need to know that protocols exist to refer at-risk students to trained professionals so that the burden of responsibility does not rest solely with the individual “on the scene.”
- Research has shown talking about suicide or asking someone if they are feeling suicidal will not put the idea in their head or cause them to kill themselves.
- School personnel, parents/guardians and students need to be confident that help is available when they raise concerns regarding suicidal behavior. Students often know but do not tell adults about suicidal peers. Having supports in place may lessen this reluctance to speak up when students are concerned about a peer.
- Advanced planning is critical to providing an effective crisis response. Internal and external resources must be in place to address student issues and to normalize the learning environment for everyone.