After a suicide at a school or college. What do you do?

The term “postvention” describes an intervention initiated after a traumatic event and for the purposes of this post, the term refers specifically to an intervention following a death by suicide on a school campus. An effective response includes communication, connection, healthy grieving, commemoration, stabilization, coping skills and resilience development, and advocacy.

Good postvention is good prevention

The knee-jerk reaction by schools and colleges is to cancel everything. But the opposite is recommended. Furthermore, the administration usually tries to contain it by being hush-hush which further exacerbates an emotional crisis and stigmatizes a suicide death.

Why not cancel classes?

For one … Read more...

‘Toolkit’ provides strategies for supporting youth

Article in the Henrico Citizen by Patty Kruszewski

Editor’s note: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline may be reached by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  Free 24/7 support is also available by texting HOME to 741741, the crisis text line.

As Anne Moss Rogers opened her presentation at an Innsbrook Rotary meeting with the story of her son’s suicide, one Rotarian turned to another and said, “Wow. How can she say that so calmly?”

But while Rogers seemed matter-of-fact as she recited the facts of Charles’ death in 2015, that purposeful, no-nonsense exterior conceals an ocean of upheaval and churning emotions within…..

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Books for children on grief and suicide grief

How do you explain loss to a child? The books on this page help children understand or relate to loss including a death by suicide.

Do you tell a child that their parent, sibling, or other loved one has died by suicide? The answer is yes but actually telling them in an age-appropriate way is difficult. The book below has those scripts to guide you in that conversation.

Spanish translated books at the bottom of the page.

This email contains Amazon Affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links, the blog gets a few cents at no extra Read more...

Before it’s too late

After losing her son to suicide, Anne Moss Rogers is on a mission to help parents and teachers spot the signs. Her new book gives them the tools

Picture Credit: Ash Daniel

Anne Moss Rogers has lived through one of the most devastating experiences a parent can endure: Her 20-year-old son Charles, who suffered from depression and addiction, died by suicide in 2015. She speaks about it eloquently – and with brutal honesty – in her memoir, “Diary of a Broken Mind,” her TED talk, at speaking engagements and on her blog. Now she’s bringing mental health awareness and suicide … Read more...

A friend posted a message online that sounds suicidal. What do you do or say?

So you see a post online. Maybe it says, “I just want to die.” Or it sounds like a goodbye note, “I love all of you and just want you to know that…..”

Or maybe it’s dripping with despair. Like one of my son’s last tweets.

my son's last tweets before his suicide

Regardless of the specific words, it’s the feeling you get when you read a certain post.

Let’s start by what you say or post

So take the ones above as examples. Here are some ways to reply. These are for friends you know.

“I care and I’d like to talk Read more...

You Learn, You Turn Podcast

Real talk about suicide prevention in young adults

You Turn is the world’s largest library of therapist-led, evidence-backed mental health and substance misuse educational and training content available, designed to meet people where they are, delivered in simple, short videos in an easy-to-use, quick-to-consume format.

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A friend I met teaching online lost her son to suicide

by Julie

I can’t even imagine the heartbreak. The helplessness those left behind are feeling. The hopelessness her son felt in the final days when everything went so dark there was no turning back to find the light.

Suicide isn’t a desire to die; it’s a desire to end the pain. Too many beautiful young people have ended their lives trying to end the pain because they can’t see the light at the end of the darkness. We often wonder how they could do this with so much going for them. If only they could see themselves through our lens … Read more...

How can we intervene online when people have lost hope?

Trigger warning: Emotional content

My son Charles was 20 when he died by suicide on June 5, 2015. Always the funniest, most popular kid in school, he used drugs and alcohol as his antidote for numbing thoughts of suicide. It wasn’t until he was 17 that he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

After going to rehab for an addiction to heroin, my son relapsed a day later and ended up back in detox where he saw a friend and walked out. We didn’t know where he was at this point, and I didn’t see these tweets until much later. … Read more...

Cult of Pedagogy Podcast. Suicide Prevention: What Teachers Can Do

Listen to the Cult of Pedagogy Podcast on their website.

What Teachers are saying:

Excerpt

…..Anne Moss Rogers has focused her latest work on teachers, whom she sees as a vital link between troubled students and the professionals who can help them cope with suicidal thoughts. In her new book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk, she and co-author Kimberly O’Brien give teachers the information and tools they need to help reduce suicide in young people.

“(Teachers) see millions of adolescents nationwide,” Rogers explained in our … Read more...

RFM: Help Students Grieving a Loss by Suicide

7 Important Strategies for Educators

  • August 30, 2021

In 2015, my son Charles took his own life at age twenty during an episode of major depression and withdrawal from heroin. By 2017, I had sold my business and invested myself in suicide prevention which included a focus on postvention, the period following a death by suicide. 

To better understand this kind of tragedy and its aftermath from an educator’s point of view, I interviewed several educators, including a Colorado public school teacher who had lost a student to suicide. This teacher offered a chilling account of how her students opened … Read more...