parents and teacher

For Teachers

Teachers interact with students daily, and are often a trusted and respected adult in their lives. That means you're likely to notice troubling changes in student's behavior or attitude - and that students might confide in you their problems.

When trying to offer support, consult with your school board's policy (if any) regarding suicide prevention, as well as with your regulatory body to understand your professional and/or legal obligations.

  • Watch for symptoms of depression in students, including mood changes, and loss of interest or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy. The student might fall behind in class, act tired or withdrawn, lose their concentration, quit their usual activities, or spend less time with friends. That can happen for many reasons, but pay special attention to significant or prolonged changes from your student's normal behavior.
  • Watch for signs in school work. Depressed or suicidal teens could express their thoughts and ideas in essays and artwork, e.g. dark feelings, or obsession with death.
  • Reach out . Mention to the student that you notice they've seemed down or out of sorts lately. Students may be reluctant to share, so be patient, sympathetic, and understanding. If a student refuses to admit their problems, at least reassure them that help is available, and tell them how to get it. Offer your continued support whenever they need someone to talk to.
  • Be prepared. If a student comes to you in distress or crisis, know what resources are available to support them, like the school guidance counsellor or local crisis centres.
  • Don't handle it alone. Follow your schools policies and protocols for managing the situation
  • Raise awareness. Make suicide less of a taboo topic for discussion