PWCS Suicide Prevention Program

Student Services continues to implement the Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program which has won recognition at the state level. The program includes student, staff, new teacher, and mental health professions components. The "Signs of Suicide" (SOS) program is conducted in all high schools in ninth grade and middle schools by a collaborative team of counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists. New teachers are required to take interactive suicide prevention training. Student Prevention Programs and Family Assistance in collaboration with PWCS Media and Production Services has developed an updated suicide prevention online training for new and experienced teachers to detect signs of depression and signs of suicidal behavior. New mental health professionals are expected to attend a more intensive training. Student Services supports student-led efforts to raise awareness of the risks of suicide and depression.


Individual Impact:

  • 79% of all people who die by suicide are male.
  • Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are 4x more likely to die by suicide.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–14 and the 3rd leading cause of death among people aged 15-24 in the U.S.
  • Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
  • 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition - but research shows that 90% may have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.

Community Impact:

  • Annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide, by U.S. demographic group:
    • 4.9% of all adults
    • 11.3% of young adults aged 18-25
    • 18.8% of high school students
    • 45% of LGBTQ youth
  • The highest rates of suicide in the U.S. are among American Indian/Alaska Natives followed by non-Hispanic whites.
  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are nearly 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
  • Transgender adults are nearly 9x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.

Retrieved from (NAMI). Data from CDC, NIMH and other select sources.


Parent Resources

Adolescent Connectedness: Youth Connectedness Is an Important Protective Factor for Health and Well-Being - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What Every Parent Should Know About Preventing Youth Suicide (PDF) - Virginia Department of Health

Teens and Suicide: What Parents Should Know - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

3 Tips to Build Trust with Your Teen as the New School Year Begins (PDF) - The JED Foundation

The Parent Resource Program - The Jason Foundation

How Parents Can Talk to Kids About Suicide - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (video below)

COVID-19 and Your Health: Coping with Stress - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

FACT SHEET - Know the Signs: Recognizing Mental Health Concerns In Kids and Teens (PDF)

Outdoor Light Linked with Teens' Sleep and Mental Health. NIMH

Supporting Children's Mental Health: Tips for Parents and Educators. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

Suicide Prevention — National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)

Suicide Prevention Resources - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Things You Can Do to Improve Your Child's Mental Health. Verywell Family

What Every Child Needs for Good Mental Health - Mental Health America (MHA)

What Is Children's Mental Health? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What to Do if You're Concerned About Your Teen's Mental Health (PDF). The JED Foundation

Youth Connectedness Is an Important Protective Factor for Health and Well-being. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Toolkits and Resources for Schools

Electronic Toolkit for Schools - Virginia Department of Health.  This website provides schools with printable Recognize. Talk. Act. posters, social media graphics, and additional resources found below:

Fostering School Connectedness: Improving Student Health and Academic Achievement
Information for School Districts and School Administrators - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Introducing Classroom WISE: Well-Being Information and Strategies for Educators

Classroom WISE is a FREE 3-part training package that assists K-12 educators in supporting the mental health of students in the classroom. Developed by the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network in partnership with the National Center for School Mental Health, this package offers evidence-based strategies and skills to engage and support students with mental health concerns in the classroom.

What Every Teacher Should Know About Preventing Youth Suicide (PDF) - Virginia Department of Health

School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors Among Youth - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Suicide Prevention Resources - Virginia Department of Education

Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools - Youth.gov

Student Resources

Adolescent Connectedness: Youth Connectedness Is an Important Protective Factor for Health and Well-Being - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What are Friends For? Suicide is not the Answer (PDF) - Virginia Department of Health

Suicide Prevention: If you Know Someone in Crisis - National Institute of Mental Health

Resources: Text, Chat, or DM - Find the Right Words for Any Scenario - Seize the Awkward

The Awkward Silence | Friendship & Mental Health | Ad Council

Self Harm

Self-Directed Violence and Other Forms of Self-Injury—A Resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Self-Harm—National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

photo of girl sitting on floor with head in her hands