Click here to read a message from Dr. Goodin about World Suicide Prevention Day.
Dear Spring-Ford Community:
As you may know, today is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day that we should acknowledge every day. Whether you are supporting someone who is struggling, or struggling yourself, it is important to take some time to look after yourself or reach out if you need support. Today, I encourage you to ask someone how they are doing. Remind them: you matter, you are wanted, you are loved, and we need you.
Our students are exposed to the topic of suicide and suicide prevention through many avenues including social media, movies and television programs, music, and current events, to name a few. Our goal is to share this information and training with our parents, guardians, and community to better prepare everyone in the event they encounter someone in need. Throughout the school year, our district focuses on educating the whole child with social and emotional initiatives that, together, help to prevent suicidal thoughts. These initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- QPR Training: Each year, every student in 9th grade will participate in QPR training. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer – the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone for help. In addition, Spring-Ford Area School District teachers, administrators, and support staff members are offered annual QPR training. Spring-Ford also extends QPR training to the school community through Parent Speaker Series QPR Training sessions. Click here to register for an upcoming QPR training, offered by Royersford Borough.
- Student Assistance Program (SAP): The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is comprised of teachers, guidance counselors, the school nurse, a building administrator, and outside consultants. The team works together to help students who are "at-risk." All SAP team members have received training that enables them to identify and intervene with students who are "at-risk" for substance abuse, depression, suicide, eating disorders, and/or other emotional concerns. "At-risk" students can be referred to the SAP team by teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, classmates, or parents. Students are also able to refer themselves.
- RAM Watch: Oftentimes, students are the ones who really know if a friend or peer is in trouble, and who may be in need of help. RAM Watch was designed to give students a safe and anonymous way to watch out for those friends.
- Safe to Say Something (S2SS): S2SS is a life-saving and life-changing school safety program that teaches students, educators, parents, and community members how to anonymously report this information through the S2SS app, website, or 24/7 Crisis Center Hotline.
- Spring-Ford Resiliency Clubs: Student and staff resiliency efforts began in our district eight years ago. The Spring-Ford High School Resiliency Club germinated from students who have attended the Life Skills Conference facilitated by Thom Stecher and Associates. Resiliency Club members focusing on leadership, community, and social-emotional well-being. They learn how to develop respect, responsibility and create healthy relationships. These students offer multiple, day-long Unity Days to their peers building a stronger, more resilient student body.
- Aevdium Club: Aevidum is a non-profit organization that empowers youth to shatter the silence surrounding depression, suicide, and other issues facing teens. The word Aevidum, which means "I've got your back," was created by students after a classmate died by suicide. Aevidum inspires schools and communities to adopt cultures of care and advocacy, encouraging all members to have their friends' backs. Aevidum exists in schools and colleges across the nation.
- Many of our schools also plan and participate in school-wide Pro-Social events. These events are more than just school pep-rallies and team-building activities. They instill positive social skills, which help kids stay active in school, while supporting their peers, and find success as they continue through life.
We also hold Parent Workshops throughout the year focusing on suicide prevention, understanding social media, raising healthy learners and many more. I encourage all parents and guardians to make these evening workshops a priority as they become available.
If you are in need of IMMEDIATE help:
• Call 9-1-1 or go to your local area hospital Emergency Department
• Call the Children's Mobile Crisis Support: 888-435-7414
• Call the Peer Support Talk Line: 855-715-8255 (available daily 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
• Call the Teen Talk Line: 866-85-5856 or text 215-703-8411
• Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-442-4673
As always, I ask you to work with your child's school counselor if you have specific concerns about your child. Together, we can work together to ensure the learning environment in our schools remains safe and supportive.
Dr. David Goodin
- Dr. Goodin