Implementing any protocol requires adequate supervision and licensure of staff. Simply being exposed to a document does not mean someone is adequately trained to facilitate the implementation of a suicide protocol.
Once your school has completed training with staff on how to identify a child who may be struggling, you may be wondering what to do next. Most schools determine that the next step is to develop some formal processes or protocols for how the building will effectively and efficiently respond to a concern for a child’s mental wellness. Some common questions that arise include:
- Once we identify a child might be struggling, who do we send them to?
- What if our school doesn’t have a Comprehensive School and Community Treatment (CSCT) or other mental health professional in the building?
- What if our community doesn’t have professional mental health services?
- Who in our building is trained and ready to assess the suicidal risk of a child?
- What if a child is in need of follow-up support?
- Who has the conversation with parents?
These questions are important for schools to answer to feel confident they are doing the best they can to support children who may be suicidal.
Grant Resources from the University of Montana: Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development. The Center wants to help Montana communities apply for grants. Their resources include a grant search filtered for relevance to Montana, with special emphasis on rural communities. They also offer a short training to help develop grant writing skills and are able to provide concrete assistance to schools and communities with the grant writing process.
School Safety Professional Development Grant for Montana school districts: Montana's Legislature passed HB 601 to provide funds to school districts to support school safety professional development.
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