Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention
Youth suicide impacts the safety of the school environment. It also affects the school community, diminishing the ability of surviving students to learn and the school’s ability to educate. Suicide and depression awareness and prevention are important Board goals.
Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention Program
The Superintendent or designee shall develop, implement, and maintain a suicide and depression awareness and prevention program (Program) that advances the Board’s goals of increasing awareness and prevention of depression and suicide. This program must be consistent with the requirements of Ann Marie’s Law listed below; each listed requirement, 1-6, corresponds with the list of required policy components in the School Code Section 5/2-3.166(c)(2)-(7). The Program shall include:
- Protocols for administering youth suicide awareness and prevention education to students and staff.
- For students, implementation will incorporate Board policy 6:60, Curriculum Content, which implements 105 ILCS 5/2-3.139 and 105 ILCS 5/27-7 (requiring education for students to develop a sound mind and a healthy body).
- For staff, implementation will incorporate Board policy 5:100, Staff Development Program, and teacher’s institutes under 105 ILCS 5/3-14.8 (requiring coverage of the warning signs of suicidal behavior).
- Procedures for methods of suicide prevention with the goal of early identification and referral of students possibly at risk of suicide. Implementation will incorporate:
- The training required by 105 ILCS 5/10-22.39 for licensed school personnel and administrators who work with students to identify the warning signs of suicidal behavior in youth along with appropriate intervention and referral techniques, including methods of prevention, procedures for early identification, and referral of students at risk of suicide; and
- Ill. State Board of Education (ISBE)-recommended guidelines and educational materials for staff training and professional development, along with ISBE-recommended resources for students containing age-appropriate educational materials on youth suicide and awareness, if available pursuant to Ann Marie’s Law on ISBE’s website.
- Methods of intervention, including procedures that address an emotional or mental health safety plan for use during the school day and at school-sponsored events for a student identified as being at increased risk of suicide including those students who: (A) suffer from a mental health disorder; (B) suffer from a substance abuse disorder; (C) engage in self-harm or have previously attempted suicide; (D) reside in an out-of-home placement; (E) are experiencing homelessness; (F) are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ); (G) are bereaved by suicide; or (H) have a medical condition or certain types of disabilities. Implementation will incorporate paragraph number 2, above, along with Board policies:
- 6:65, Student Social and Emotional Development, implementing the goals and benchmarks of the Ill. Learning Standards and 405 ILCS 49/15(b) (requiring student social and emotional development in the District’s educational program);
- 6:120, Education of Children with Disabilities, implementing special education requirements for the District;
- 6:140, Education of Homeless Children, implementing provision of District services to students who are homeless;
- 6:270, Guidance and Counseling Program, implementing guidance and counseling program(s) for students, and 105 ILCS 5/10-22.24a and 22.24b, which allow a qualified guidance specialist or any licensed staff member to provide school counseling services;
- 7:10, Equal Educational Opportunities, and its implementing administrative procedure and exhibit, implementing supports for equal educational opportunities for students who are LGBTQ;
- 7:50, School Admissions and Student Transfers To and From Non-District Schools, implementing State law requirements related to students who are in foster care;
- 7:250, Student Support Services, implementing the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, 405 ILCS 49/ (requiring protocols for responding to students with social, emotional, or mental health issues that impact learning ability); and
- State and/or federal resources that address emotional or mental health safety plans for students who are possibly at an increased risk for suicide, if available on the ISBE’s website pursuant to Ann Marie’s Law.
- Methods of responding to a student or staff suicide or suicide attempt. Implementation of this requirement shall incorporate building-level Student Support Committee(s) established through Board policy 7:250, Student Support Services.
- Reporting procedures. Implementation of this requirement shall incorporate Board policy 6:270, Guidance and Counseling Program, and Board policy 7:250, Student Support Services, in addition to other State and/or federal resources that address reporting procedures.
- A process to incorporate ISBE-recommended resources on youth suicide awareness and prevention programs, including current contact information for such programs in the District’s Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention Program.
Illinois Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning Committee
The Superintendent or designee shall attempt to develop a relationship between the District and the Illinois Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning Committee, the Illinois Suicide Prevention Coalition Alliance, and/or a community mental health agency. The purpose of the relationship is to discuss how to incorporate the goals and objectives of the Illinois Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan into the District’s Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness Program.
The Board will review and update this policy pursuant to Ann Marie’s Law and Board policy 2:240, Board Policy Development.
Information to Staff, Parents/Guardians, and Students
The Superintendent shall inform each school district employee about this policy and ensure its posting on the District’s website. The Superintendent or designee shall provide a copy of this policy to the parent or legal guardian of each student enrolled in the District. Student identification (ID) cards, the District’s website, and student handbooks and planners will contain the support information as required by State law.
This policy shall be implemented in a manner consistent with State and federal laws, including the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, 405 ILCS 49/, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, 740 ILCS 110/, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.
The District, Board, and its staff are protected from liability by the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. Services provided pursuant to this policy: (1) do not replace the care of a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches or a licensed medical practitioner or professional trained in suicide prevention, assessments and counseling services, (2) are strictly limited to the available resources within the District, (3) do not extend beyond the school day and/or school-sponsored events, and (4) cannot guarantee or ensure the safety of a student or the student body.
LEGAL REF.: 42 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq.Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
105 ILCS 5/2-3.166, 105 ILCS 5/2-3.139, 5/3-14.8, 5/10-20.73 (final citation pending), 5/10-22.24a, 5/10-22.24b, 5/10-22.39, 5/10-20.75 (final citation pending), 5/14-1.01 et seq., 5/14-7.02, and 5/14-7.02b, 5/27-7.
405 ILCS 49, Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003.
740 ILCS 110/, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act.
745 ILCS 10/, Local Governmental and Governmental Tort Immunity Act.
CROSS REF.: 2:240 (Board Policy Development), 5:100 (Staff Development Program), 6:60 (Curriculum Content), 6:65 (Student Social and Emotional Development), 6:120 (Education of Children with Disabilities), 6:270 (Guidance and Counseling Program), 7:180 (Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment), 7:250 (Student Support Services)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1(800)273-8255
Crisis Text Line 741741