For the Classroom:
Teaching students the warning signs of suicide
An adolescent’s peers are often the first to recognize changes in a friend’s typical behavior and emotional patterns. It is important to teach young people the warning signs for a mental health crisis and suicide ideation, as they just might be the ones to intervene and save a friend’s life. Adolescents need to know they can seek out a trusted adult if they or someone they love is experiencing such a crisis.
Share with your students the warning signs for suicide and ask them to identify a trusted adult they can turn to if they or a friend are experiencing a crisis. Recommended lists of warning signs can be found on the following sites:
- It’s OK 2 Ask…about suicide. What to Look For.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Risk Factors and Warning Signs.
Once the class has discussed these warning signs, for an extension assignment, ask the students to create a meme to post on social media. The meme should be designed to target teens, include warning signs, and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK.