BCSD Suicide Prevention Policy
The BCSD Board approved the BCSD Suicide Prevention Policy (available in Spanish here), developed by school and community stakeholders, the county mental health plan, school employed mental health professionals, and suicide prevention experts. In accordance with state laws, the policy addresses procedures related to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. The policy addresses all grade levels within BCSD and is age appropriate in order that any prevention and support efforts are sensitive to the needs of young students. The policy also addresses the needs of high-risk groups, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
The policy is written to ensure that a school employee acts only within the authorization and scope of the employee's credential or license and to ensure proper coordination and consultation with Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
- Youth bereaved by suicide
- Youth with disabilities, mental illness, or substance use disorders
- Youth experiencing homelessness or in out-of-home settings, such as foster care
- LGBTQIA+ youth
Do you feel anxious, hopeless, desperate, trapped, or have uncontrolled anger? Do you feel withdrawn or that you just can not connect with anyone? Are you experiencing bullying or feel harassed?
Click here to watch a video by our BCSD students to learn how you can get help and support.
Know the Signs
National Suicide Prevention Month 2021
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is important to know the signs, find the words, and reach out if you need help and support.Pain isn't always obvious. Yet most people who are considering suicide show some warning signs or signals of their intentions. The signs or changes in behavior may appear in conversations, through their actions, or in social media posts. These are of most concern if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. Some signs to look for include:
If you have or know anyone with any of these signs you should contact your teacher, principal, or report a concern using the Sprigeo app link. If you feel unsafe or know someone who feels unsafe, please report it using the Sprigeo app link or by contacting your teacher or principal.If any of these signs are present, call the Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Crisis Hotline at 1-800-991-5272 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255:
- Talking about wanting to die or suicide
- Looking for a way to kill themselves
- Feeling hopeless, desperate, trapped
- Giving away possessions
- Reckless behavior
- Putting affairs in order
- Uncontrolled anger
- Increased drug or alcohol use
- Anxiety or agitation
- Changes in sleep
- Sudden mood changes
- No sense of purpose
Learn more about the warning signs at www.SuicideisPreventable.org and download the e-card for quick reference.
- Talking about death or suicide
- Seeking methods for self-harm, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
Take a moment to watch this short clip that can be shared via social media.
Find the Words
Feeling connected to friends, family, and our community can be a protective factor for suicide. Care enough to create a safe space for your students. Parents, use this time to reach out to someone in your life and let them know that you are comfortable talking about anything they need, including suicide, and should they ever come to a point where they are questioning their reasons for living, you will be there to listen and support them. Creating this safe space at a time when there is no crisis is one way we can play a role in suicide prevention.“Are you thinking about suicide?” These words can be difficult to say, but when it comes to suicide prevention, none are more important. Asking someone directly about suicide can be difficult; being direct provides an opportunity for the person to open up and talk about their feelings. Asking directly about suicide will not suggest the idea to them. It is through the act of listening, expressing concern, and providing reassurance that they will feel supported. To learn more about the warning signs for suicide and tips to prepare for a conversation with someone you are concerned about visit the “Find the Words” section of the website: https://www.suicideispreventable.org/
Start the conversation
Listen, express concern, reassure
- Have a list of resources available
- Practice what you will say
- Mention the signs you have noticed
- Ask directly about suicide
- If they answer “yes”, stay calm, do not leave them alone, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
Create a safety plan
- Listen and validate
- Let them know you care
- Ask about access to lethal means and help remove them if safe to do so
- Create a safety plan together
- Ask if they will refrain from using substances or agree to have someone monitor their use
- Get a verbal commitment that they will not act upon thoughts of suicide until they have met with a professional
What NOT to say
- Provide resources
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime at 800-273-8255
- If the situation is critical, call 9-1-1, or take the person to the nearest emergency room or walk-in psychiatric clinic
If you think someone is thinking about suicide, listen to your instincts and take it seriously. Do not leave them alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) at any time for assistance.Reach OutIf you or someone you know needs help, please know that you are not alone. Crisis lines, counselors, intervention programs, and more are available to you, whether you are in crisis yourself or concerned about someone else. Here are some numbers to call for supports:
- Do not ask in a way that indicates you want “No” for an answer, such as “You don’t really wanna die do you?”
- Do not tell the person to do it.
- Do not show anger or frustration.
- Do not promise secrecy.
- Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Crisis Line: 1-800-991-5272
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741-741
- The Trevor Project (for LGBTQ Young People): 1-866-488-7386
- Friendship Line (for Older Adults): 1-800-971-0016
- Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
- Teen Line: Call 1-800-852-8336 (from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. PST)
What is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline?
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (1-888-628-9454 for Spanish-speaking callers) is the only federally funded hotline for suicide prevention and intervention. People who are in emotional distress or suicidal crisis can call the Lifeline at any time, from anywhere in the Nation, to talk in English or Spanish with a trained crisis worker who will listen to and assist callers in getting the help they need. For more information about the Lifeline, visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.