Elementary Procedures

Preventative counseling lessons for grades PreK-5 focus on resiliency, coping skills and how to get help for oneself and/or a friend. Based on research and current best practices, the terms “suicide” and “depression” are not taught directly at the elementary level. Lessons are based on feelings of stress, worry, sadness and how to cope with feelings and how to ask for help if needed.

Elementary counselors do not administer a suicide screener. Instead, students identify coping strategies and adults at school and outside of school to whom they can go for help by filling out a graphic organizer (see pages 7-10). Any student who has difficulty identifying coping strategies and/or adults who can help, will receive a follow up visit with the counselor and/or school psychologist to gather further information and see if any additional steps are necessary.

All students will receive a hotline card at a time determined by the building administrator and counselor. In addition, students will also receive a parent letter explaining the purpose of the hotline card. If an adult witnesses a student exhibiting suicidal tendencies, they will immediately contact the building administrator, school counselor, social worker or school psychologist. If necessary, a risk assessment and/or suicide intervention will be completed. Intervention procedures will be appropriately followed and parents/guardians as well as administrators will be informed according to intervention procedures or at the discretion of the counselor, social worker or school psychologist.