Elk Grove Unified School District has school counselors, psychologists and mental health therapists available at our schools. They have been trained to assess suicidal ideation and respond appropriately to the level of threat identified. It is the top priority of Elk Grove Unified School District to ensure the safety of the students in our schools. Please use our counselors, psychologists, and mental health therapists as resources, in addition to the information provided on this website.
You will find information about the warning signs and risk factors of youth suicide, as well as how to respond if you find out your child has suicidal thoughts or attempts. Provided are local and national crisis hotline information as well as website resource links.
Warning signs are observable behaviors that may signal the presence of suicidal thinking. They might be considered “cries for help ”or “invitations to intervene.” We encourage our staff to follow your instincts, it is not overreacting. Please communicate with your counselor or mental heath professional on site if you observe behaviors that concern you.
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness
- Changes in sleep patterns or eating habits
- Significant changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts, and/or feelings
What to Do When Faced with a Student in Crisis
Saving lives often begins with asking a question.
- Ask the difficult question. “Have you had thoughts about killing yourself?” Do not offer unrealistic reassurances.
- Paraphrase what you are hearing the student say. This will support your ability to monitor how accurately you are understanding what the student is saying. For example, “I understand when you say that you aren’t sure if you want to live or die, but have you always wanted to die? Well, maybe there’s a chance you won’t feel that way forever. I can help.”
- Providing information about a current or upcoming life transition can help lessen anxiety. Remember, your job is not to act in the role of the mental health professional.
- Connect the student with a counselor, administrator or mental health professional immediately. Maintain visual contact with student at all times.
- Always provide a student with a 24-hour crisis number. Have them put the contact information into their phone if possible.
- Be aware of the identified individuals on your site who are working with you to provide more long-term professional support.
What to Avoid When Helping a Student in Crisis
- The student could be in a state of chaos and confusion, so how you model your emotions is key.
- In an effort to provide support, be careful that you are not providing your opinions.
- Avoid being impatient, judgmental or shocked.
- Be careful not to minimize the student’s experience but do not overreact as it may cause the student to shut down.
- Base the foundation of your relationship on honesty and trust.
- Do not promise secrecy in an effort to glean information regarding the crisis.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an eight hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.
Be the one to make a difference and sign up for a Youth Mental Health First Aid training today: