Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk

Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk

Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk

Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk


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Discover effective strategies to help prevent youth suicide

In Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk, trainer, speaker, and suicide loss survivor Anne Moss Rogers, and clinical social worker and researcher, Kimberly O'Brien, PhD, LICSW, empower middle and high school educators with the knowledge and skills to leverage their relationships with students to reduce this threat to life.

The purpose of this book is not to turn teachers into therapists but given the pervasive public health problem of suicide in our youth, it's a critical conversation that all educators need to feel comfortable having. Educators will learn evidence-based concepts of suicide prevention, plus lesser known innovative strategies and small culture shifts for the classroom to facilitate connection and healthy coping strategies, the foundation of suicide prevention. Included is commentary from teachers, school psychologists, experts in youth suicidology, leaders from mental health nonprofits, program directors, and tudents. In addition, readers will find practical tips, and sample scripts, with innovative activities that can be incorporated into teaching curricula.

You'll learn about:

  • The teacher's role in suicide prevention, intervention, postvention, collaboration
  • The different and often cryptic ways students indicate suicidality
  • What to do/say when a student tells you they are thinking of suicide
  • Small shifts that can create a suicide-prevention classroom/school environment
  • How to address a class of grieving students and the empty desk syndrome
  • Link to a download of resources, worksheets, activities, scripts, quizzes, and more

Who is it for:

Middle/high school teachers and educators, school counselors, nurses, psychologists, coaches, and administrators, as well as parents who wish to better understand the complex subject of youth suicide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119758303
Publisher: Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers
Publication date: 08/24/2021
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 319,745
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Anne Moss Rogers is an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, certified suicide prevention trainer, author of the award-winning book, Diary of a Broken Mind, and a NAMI Virginia board member. She lost her 20-year-old son, Charles, to suicide June 5, 2015.

Kimberly O'Brien, PHD, LICSW, is a clinical social worker and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on intervention development for suicidal adolescents.

Table of Contents

About the Authors xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Companion Website xxi

Preface xxiii

Introduction xxxi

Chapter 1 Why Are We Seeing More Mental Health Problems with Students? 1

The Rise in Teen Mental Health Problems 2

The Impact of Increased Screen Time 8

Mental Health Disorders 9

Major Depressive Disorder (Depression) 10

Conduct Disorder 10

Bipolar Disorder 11

Substance Use Disorder 11

Eating Disorder 12

Schizophrenia 12

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 13

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 14

Notes 14

Chapter 2 Adolescent Suicide: Risk Factors, Protective Factors, and Warning Signs 19

Risk Factors 22

At-Risk Student Populations 23

Gender and Suicide Risk 24

Sexual and/or Gender Minorities 25

Race and Ethnicity 26

Demographic Region 28

Psychological Factors, Including Prior Suicide Attempt 29

Access to Firearms 29

Family History of Suicide 30

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury 30

Trauma 31

Teens with Challenging Family Dynamics 32

Chronic Illness or Disabilities 33

Youth Living with Autism 34

Precipitating Events 34

Life Transitions 35

School and Extracurricular Stress 36

Suicide Contagion 37

Social Media, Texting, Teens, and Suicide 38

Protective Factors 44

Suicide Warning Signs 45

What Do Students Say When They Are Thinking of Suicide? 48

Notes 51

Chapter 3 Debunking Myths About Student Suicide 57

Myth: Talking About Suicide Can Give Them the Idea 58

Myth: Teens Who Say They Are Thinking of Suicide Are Just Trying to Get Attention 58

Myth: Suicide Is Selfish 59

Myth: You Should Use a "No-Suicide Contract" with Teens 59

Myth: Once a Teen Gets Past a Suicide Attempt, They've Learned Their Lesson 60

Myth: Teens Who Self-Injure Are Trying to Kill Themselves 60

Myth: There Is No Need to Screen Kids for Suicide Because They Won't Tell Anyway 62

Myth: If Someone Is Set on Taking Their Own Life, Nothing Can Be Done to Stop Them 64

Myth: The Parent is Always the Best Person to Tell When a Student Is Thinking of Suicide 65

Myth: If They Don't Have a Plan, They Are Not at Risk for Suicide 65

Myth: The Holidays Are Peak Times for Teen Suicide 66

Myth: Most Students Who Die by Suicide Have Been Bullied 66

Notes 67

Chapter 4: Suicide-Related School Policies 69

Prepare School Crisis Plan 70

School Policy for Suicide Prevention 71

School Policy for Commemoration and Memorialization 72

Confidentiality Policy 79

Notes 80

Chapter 5 Prevention: The Educator's Role in Creating a Culture for Suicide Prevention 83

Creating a Culture of Connectedness and Belonging 85

Collaboration Is the Key to Success 92

Create a Safe Digital Learning Environment 93

Choosing the Right Program or Training 94

Educator/Gatekeeper Training 96

Universal School-Based Suicide Prevention Programs 100

SOS Signs of Suicide 101

SOS Signs of Suicide Second ACT 103

Sources of Strength 103

Lifelines: Prevention 106

Hope Squad 107

JED High School 107

CAST, Coping and Support Training 108

American Indian Life Skills (AILS) 108

PREPaRE Crisis Training 109

Mental Health Training Programs 110

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) 110

Teen Mental Health First Aid (TMHFA) 110

More Than Sad 110

Programs That Bolster Protective Factors for Students 111



The Emerson Model 114

Customizing/Adapting Suicide Prevention Programs 115

Screening for Suicide Risk 117

Getting Leadership Buy-in for Suicide Prevention Education 119

Notes 125

Chapter 6 Suicide Prevention Activities for Schools 127

Simple Ideas/Concepts Anyone Can Integrate 129

Creative Activities for Bolstering Protective Factors 135

Advice Column Activity 136

Social Justice Movie 136

Dia de los Muertos 137

Hope and Care Video 138

Mental Health Monday 138

Connect/Disconnect 140

Hope Versus fear 141

Mental Health Presentations by Students 142

License Plate Project 144

Podcasts 146

Tammy's Mental Health 146

Affinity Groups 147

Student-Led Mental Wellness Clubs 147

Initiatives and Ideas for Student Wellness Clubs 150

Nobles Heads Together 151

NHT Video Project 152

Fishbowl 153

Rock Painting 154

Middle School Visit 155

No Eagle Left Behind 155

Active Minds 157

Organizations Supporting School Mental Wellness Club Initiatives 158

Framework and Guidelines for Speaking, Panel Events, Videos, and News 160

Funding for Your Mental Wellness Club 166

Notes 168

Chapter 7 Intervention: They've Told You They're Thinking of Suicide. What Now? 169

Kids Want to Tell 173

Removing Means 181

What to Say, What to Do 182

Assessing Suicide Risk 190

Safety Planning 191

Notes 195

Chapter 8 Reintegrating a Student into School After a Suicide Attempt or Family Loss 197

Transition from the Hospital Setting 199

Key Aspects of Reentry Meeting 200

Peer Connections and Support 201

Returning to School After Suicide Loss 202

What Does the Teen Want to Say? 205

Notes 207

Chapter 9 Postvention: After a Student or Teacher Suicide 209

Communication with the Impacted Family 215

Protocol and Maintaining Structure 221

Educator Talking Points with Students After Suicide 227

What Teachers Shouldn't Do or Say 231

Scripts on How to Facilitate Conversation with Your Class 233

Sharing Stories About the Deceased Script 234

Feelings Check-in Script 235

Working Through Our Grief Script 236

Responding to Grieving Adolescents 237

Memorial Activities and Support After a Student Suicide 238

The Empty Desk Syndrome and Taking Care of You 241

Notes 246

Chapter 10 How Students Move Forward After a Suicidal Crisis 247

How Did These Teens Move Out of a Self-Defeating Cycle? 249

Note 254

Chapter 11 Resources 255

Comprehensive Suicide-Related School-Based Models and Toolkits 255

Suicide-Related Fact Sheets 257

Best Practices for Storytelling and Reporting on Suicide 257

Recommended Websites 258

Educator/Gatekeeper Training Programs Mentioned in the Book 262

Universal School-Based Suicide Prevention Programs Mentioned in the Book 263

Crisis and Mental Health Training Programs Mentioned in the Book 264

Programs that Bolster Protective Factors for At-Risk Youth 264

Nonprofits and Government Agencies 265

Recommended Suicide-Related Books for Schools 267

Chapter 12 Quizzes, Worksheets, Handouts, Guides, and Scripts 269

Worksheet 1: How to Tell Someone You Are Thinking of Suicide 269

Worksheet 2: Creating a Safe Digital Learning Environment 272

Worksheet 3: Student Wellness Surveys 273

Worksheet 4: True or False Suicide Prevention Quiz 275

Worksheet 5: True or False Suicide Prevention Quiz: Answer Key 276

Worksheet 6: Sample Confidentiality Policy for Students 278

Worksheet 7: How Educators Can Help Youth Bereaved by Suicide 279

Worksheet 8: Managing a Loss by Suicide for Middle and High School Students 283

Worksheet 9: The Coping Strategies and Resilience Building Game 287

Worksheet 10: Coping Skills Worksheet 292

Worksheet 11: What Is Your Passion? 294

Worksheet 12: Sample Schedule of Student Mental Wellness Events/Ideas 295

Worksheet 13: Script for Responding to Students Who Think Information Is Being Withheld 297

Worksheet 14: Script for Asking Parents' Permission to Disclose a Suicide Death 298

Worksheet 15: Guidelines for Telling Your Story 300

Seuss-like Scripts: A Serious Message in an Engaging Format 301

Worksheet 16: Bullies Aren't the Boss of You! 302

Worksheet 17: Toodle-oo to Taboo 303

Worksheet 18: Ears for Your Peers 304

Worksheet 19: I'm Rooting for You! 306

Worksheet 20: Don't Balk, Do Talk 307

Notes 308

Glossary 309

Index 317

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