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Suicide Prevention Campaign Ideas

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Suicide, and its prevention, are hot topics in education. Why not host a campaign on campus designed for suicide prevention? These ideas will ensure success and perhaps save lives.

Suicide Awareness

Suicide awareness and prevention are essential skills for educators to possess. Suicide prevention campaigns can be a very effective of educating students about suicide, creating awareness regarding risk factors and behaviors associated with suicidal individuals, and preventing the incidence of suicide among students. These ideas for suicide prevention campaigns were designed especially for educators.

The Faces of Suicide Educational Posters

Suicide is often a taboo topic. This campaign idea uses posters to feature the faces of those who have committed suicide along with facts about suicide.

Materials

  • Poster board
  • Photos of teens who have committed suicide (these can be found with a simple Google image search)
  • Scissors
  • Paste
  • Markers in assorted colors

Instructions

  • Print selected photos of teens that have committed suicide, trimming the edges with scissors if needed.
  • Use the markers to write 'The Faces of Suicide' in block letters at the top of each poster board.
  • Paste the photos to the poster board.
  • Underneath each photo, write the teen's name and his or her age at the time of the suicide.
  • Now cover the poster with key facts about suicide (e.g. Suicide is the third most common cause of death for people between the ages of 15 - 24 year olds and spring is the most common time for people to take their own lives, and so on).
  • Hang the posters through the campus as part of a suicide prevention campaign.

School Suicide Hotline

Anonymous hotlines provide a much-needed resource for those who may be considering suicide. This hotline is designed as one important component of a school-wide suicide prevention campaign.

Materials

  • A cell phone

Instructions

  • Begin by recruiting volunteer lay-counselors from the school's faculty and administration.
  • Host a brief training session for volunteers to educate them on the required techniques for working a suicide prevention hotline. If possible, invite a police officer or other similarly trained first responder to speak to the volunteers about suicide prevention at this training session.
  • Establish a schedule for the hotline based upon the availability of the volunteers, ensuring that a trained volunteer is answering the hotline's cell phone at all times.
  • Create flyers with tear-off slips to promote the hotline. Be sure to include the phone number on the tear-off slips. It is also important to note that the service is anonymous, confidential and free, and that it is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Post the flyers promoting the hotline in both public and private areas on campus (e.g. bulletin boards, bathroom stalls, locker rooms and so on).

Design A T-Shirt Contest and Fundraiser

Engagement is a critical part of any campaign. This contest asks students to design t-shirts to promote suicide prevention. The winner's design will be featured on a t-shirt and made available for purchase to raise funds to support the suicide prevention campaign on campus.

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