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Suicide Prevention Discussion Questions

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Suicide is one of the biggest causes of death among teenagers. As part of the process of teaching students what they need to know about suicide prevention, we can have them talk through discussion questions like the ones provided in this lesson.

Suicide Prevention Discussion Questions

Suicide is a major problem among young people across the world, making it a vital topic to study and raise awareness on at school. There are lots of things schools can do to tackle the issue of suicide prevention. One of those things is simply educating students about the topic. Students should know how common the issue is, what some of the causes are, what warning signs to look for, and how to respond when they find out or are concerned that a student is considering suicide. Students can be taught skills on how to intervene, who to talk to, and what to do.

One approach to doing this is to study the topic through discussion. This makes the learning process more engaging, and can help students work together to hash out any issues or questions they have. You can begin by educating students in what they should know, and then use discussions to cement their knowledge. Alternatively, you can give students access to information (such as a web browser or special books) and have them figure out the answers themselves through a discussion format. In this lesson, we'll provide some possible discussion questions for students learning about suicide prevention. These questions are separated into specific categories. Take a look, and try these for yourself.

Causes & Prevalence Questions

This first category of questions focuses on the causes, statistics, and prevalence of suicide. It sets the stage for the later questions.

  • The suicide rate is highest during the mid-teens. What do you think the reason for this is? What is different about this time in a person's life? What risk factors are involved?
  • What do statistics say about the size of the suicide problem?
  • Why do you think suicide is difficult to talk about?
  • Does getting psychological help or treatment have a stigma associated with it? If so, why do you think getting help to deal with suicidal feelings has a stigma?
  • What impact does the presence of guns have on the risk of suicide?

Bullying Discussion Questions

One of the major causes of teen suicide is bullying. When a student is receiving regular or even daily bullying, it can make them feel intense fear, sadness, and despair. Depression can follow, and in moments of deep emotion a student can take his or her own life. This is one of the most tragic events that a school community can face, and must be prevented at all costs. Here are some discussion questions centered around bullying:

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