Suicide Prevention Education and Support
Youth suicide is a tragic loss that impacts every community. To help raise awareness, the Snoqualmie Valley School Board recently adopted the 2022 Suicide Prevention Month Proclamation. This important topic continues to be a focus of support and education, especially in our secondary schools (grades 6-12), to help ensure all our children stay safe and healthy. The Snoqualmie Valley School District has a strong history of supporting our families and students around suicide prevention.
Crisis Lines and Suicide Prevention Resources
- 911 (Call or text if the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger of killing themselves and/or refuses to stay safe with you.)
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline - Dial 988 or Lifeline (988lifeline.org) (Staffed 24/7, national network that provides free and confidential emotional support for people in distress, plus prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.)
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 or www.crisistextline.org (24/7 free crisis counseling via text message for anything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school.)
- 24-hour Crisis Line: Call 1-866-427-4747 or https://www.crisisconnections.org/ (24-hour King County Crisis Connections resource)
- Teenlink: Call or text 1-866-TEENLINK (833-6546) https://www.teenlink.org/ (Evenings 6-9:30 pm, a help line for teens by teens)
- Safe Schools Tipline: Report a concern to SVSD school staff, anonymously if preferred -- through the web: http://1047.alert1.us, email: 1047@ALERT1.US, text or call 360-587-4726, or download the free "SafeSchools Alert" ap. Our district code is 1047. Note: the more details you're able to provide will help our school administrators investigate concerns quickly. We appreciate your help!
- UW Forefront Suicide Prevention: http://www.intheforefront.org
- Empower Youth Network: empoweryouthnetwork.org
- Safe Place: http://nationalsafeplace.org/
- Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness: http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention/
- Friends of Youth: http://www.friendsofyouth.org/
SVSD Prevention Efforts
Snoqualmie Valley schools have partnered with experts from UW’s Forefront Suicide Prevention Program, Empower Youth Network (EYN), and the Student Assistance Program (SAP) operated through the Prevention Center at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), to engage students, staff and families in a variety of prevention and support activities. Efforts over the past decade include:
In 2022-23, additional staffing, which includes behavioral health specialists, social workers, mental health therapists, and success coordinators, have been hired to support all SVSD students.
- Our district is participating in Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, offered by the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD), intended to provide skills to caring adults who may interact with youth experiencing a mental health crisis. This 2022-23 training is open to all school-based staff, coaches, and volunteers.
Weekly advisory classes added to middle school and high school schedules build in time for social-emotional learning and support.
- Since 2019, our district began partnering with the King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) to conduct a school-based program called Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Services (SBIRT) program. The goal of the SBIRT Initiative is to promote positive mental health and reduce adolescent substance abuse, by helping identify middle school students who may need extra support and connecting them with resources they may need to thrive.
Mount Si High School was among the first cohort of 13 high schools selected for a three-year suicide prevention awareness program (2015-2018) through the University of Washington Forefront program. This provided training for staff, peer-to-peer training for students, and training for families. Training continues to be offered each year.
A MSHS student joined UW Forefront in Olympia to provide testimony to the state legislature, advocating for more funding for mental health support services at schools. The testimony was related to SB 6141, strengthening school district plans for recognition, screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students.
Our district participates in Washington State's Healthy Youth Survey every two years to assess youth issues and direct generalized supports for students.
- The Safety Tipline resource offers a way for anyone to report concerns regarding student safety anonymously via phone, email, text messaging or website. For more information, click on the Report a Concern button on any school website.
- A Talk Early, Talk Often campaign was launched during the 2014-15 school year. This social norms project encouraged parents to begin talking to their child early about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs. It includes a flyer, movie theater advertisement, and behavioral health resource list for families on the Snoqualmie Valley School District website.
- The District is developed and implemented a Suicide Prevention Policy and Procedures in 2015-16, in accordance with a recent state mandate of all school districts.
- A Drug/Alcohol Prevention Specialist works closely with Mount Si High School counselors and the school psychologist to identify and support at-risk youth, offer treatment options for families, teach prevention, and initiate student awareness campaigns.
- Youth suicide experts helped Mount Si High School create a sustainable Strategic Suicide Prevention Plan which includes on-going student/staff/parent training.
- Starting in 2013-14, experts at the Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP), along with MSHS staff, taught a youth suicide classroom presentation to all students and staff at Mount Si High School. This program will be presented to students every other year.
- In previous years, MSHS students also received Youth Suicide Prevention Peer-to-Peer Training.
- Teen Resource numbers are printed on the backs of the Mount Si ASB cards, including a suicide hotline for handy student access.
- When the state-wide Safe Place program was introduced in 2013-14, Mount Si High School signed up to be one of the first high schools to be designated a Safe Place. Safe Place locations support teens in crisis situations, creating a safety net for youth. With this designation, any homeless student can seek shelter and immediate assistance for help and supportive services.
- Natural Helpers is a well-established club at some of our secondary schools. This program trains a new group of students each year how to be peer mentors -– helping identify when students may seem at risk, and knowing when to seek an adult’s help. Learn more about their activities on the MSHS Natural Helper website.
- In the Youth Success Mentor program, our counselors partner with Empower Youth Network, to help quality, match and train adult volunteers to become mentors to students in all SVSD schools who could benefit from another positive role model. Mentors meet with the same student, at least an hour every week, at their school during the school day, providing a supportive and consistent relationship focused on the individual well being.
- Your Voice, Your Choice Video Contest was a district-wide contest in 2013 in which students created suicide prevention/anti-bullying/substance abuse awareness videos. As part of National Prevention Week, and in partnership with Empower Youth Network and King County Community Organizing Program, we were awarded mini-grants totaling $3,000 to provide incentives for student participation.
- Be A.W.A.R.E Campaign was also spearheaded by Natural Helpers for National Prevention Week and beyond. The campaign promotes Acting against bullying/harassment, Working for kindness, Asking for help, Respecting everyone, and Experiencing life without drugs.
- Social Norms Project –Students in high school technology classes create positive norm messaging using Healthy Youth Survey data, health risk factors and school points of pride. These images are displayed on school TV monitors and computer lab screens providing regular reminders of prevention facts and positive lifestyle choices. http://designforsocialchange.weebly.com/social-norms-campaign.html
- A Family Resource Fair in 2013, sponsored by MSHS PTSA, helped connect students and their families to a wide range of support resources and local services. Similarly, a Wellness Fair in 2011-12, during the school day, connected students with local health care providers and human service organizations and resources.
- Homeless Outreach professionals (Friends of Youth) are invited by the District to make regular visits to schools so that students are familiar with and know how to access case management and shelter services.
- Mental Health services are provided by Friends of Youth professionals at several schools.
- Parent/community training information has been offered through the Youth Suicide Prevention Program's "SAFE Talk" curriculum.
- MSHS Administrative Team members have been trained on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and H.E.L.P. Suicide Curriculum.