Students in Maryline Williams’ kindergarten class know they have a teacher who will help them succeed. The Henry David Thoreau Elementary School teacher is one of 16 Seattle Heroes in the Classroom to be recognized during the 2019 NFL season.
Suicide Prevention and Behavioral Health
18% of 12th graders in the Lake Washington School District reported having considered suicide on the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey. The District has put in place a variety of supports to aid students and reduce the likelihood that students follow through on such thoughts.
In 2015, the District adopted the suicide prevention plan developed by OSPI. Each school updates this plan on an annual basis as part of their comprehensive emergency management plan.
Additionally, the District contracts with local behavioral health service providers to conduct risk assessments and connect students with supports.
Know the warnings and act if you see:
- Talking or writing about suicide or death
- Giving direct verbal cues, such as "I wish I were dead" and "I’m going to end it all"
- Giving less direct verbal cues, such as "You will be better off without me," "What’s the point of living?," "Soon you won’t have to worry about me," and "Who cares if I’m dead, anyway?"
- Isolating themselves from friends and family
- Expressing the belief that life is meaningless
- Giving away prized possessions
- Exhibiting a sudden and unexplained improvement in mood after being depressed or withdrawn
- Neglecting his or her appearance and hygiene
- Dropping out of school or social, athletic and/or community activities
- Obtaining a weapon (such as a firearm) or another means of hurting themselves (such as prescription medications)
Source: OSPI School Safety Center
If the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger call 9-1-1
Concerns about a student can be reported to a school administrator or counselor. Additionally, concerns can be reported through the district’s tip line: 425-529-5763.
Learn how to make your home safer by making lethal means unavailable to a suicidal individual by visiting the Safer Homes Coalition.
Suicide prevention plan
Each school has a suicide prevention plan which outlines resources, prevention strategies, intervention and triage steps, re-entry plans and response plans in the event of a student death.
Additionally, counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and occupational therapists are required to have participated in a certified youth suicide prevention course.
Many administrators across the district have also taken part in youth mental health first aid training. And, staff annually receive training on what signs to look for and how to report concerns.
Supports in place at schools
All high schools have social workers that are dually certified in behavioral health and chemical dependency. Additionally, the District has an agreement with Youth Eastside Services to be able to conduct suicide risk assessments at the school site for students around the district.