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Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a leading cause of death in Ohio. In Ohio, one person dies by suicide every five hours and one youth dies by suicide every 33 hours (Ohio Department of Health, 2019). Individuals are more likely to die by suicide than by homicide.  In 2018, suicide was the leading cause of death among Ohioans 10-14 years of age and the second leading cause of death among Ohioans 15-34 years.

This page provides resources and links to external sites that will help with prevention, education, and intervention related to suicide prevention.

Suicide Prevention Planning and Education

HB 123 requires that suicide awareness and prevention education be provided to both students and staff.  Information for developing a comprehensive approach to suicide education and prevention can be found here Middle and High School (ohio.gov)

Schools who do not have an established relationship with a mental health provider, able to complete evaluations, should visit the link below to locate available partners and involve them in your planning process.

Staff Training Options

Below are some links to resources for staff training on how to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention program, learning the warning signs of suicidal ideation, and general education. 

Educate School Faculty and Staff on Warning Signs (ohio.gov)

Manual - How to Develop a Comprehensive School Suicide Prevention Program FINAL (4-01-20kk) (ohio.gov)

Ensure School Faculty and Staff Collaboration (ohio.gov)

Include Suicide Prevention Education in Curriculum (ohio.gov)

Prevention Program Options

The below links will provide more information on prevention programming including student based initiatives.

Develop a Peer Leadership/Peer Assistance Program (ohio.gov)

Implement Activities that Increase School Connectedness (ohio.gov)

Sources of Strength Ohio | Suicide Prevention & Wellness Program

Signs of Suicide Prevention Program for Schools

Multilingual Resources

The Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition aims to increase support and accessibility of suicide prevention resources in multilingual communities across Central Ohio. They have created a collection of multilingual videos featuring representatives from each community who share resources and guidance on suicide prevention.

To Access the Videos Click Here

Day by Day- SC

Featured when Ryan Day took over at Ohio State, he made mental health a priority and the systems he put in place helped save a player’s life.  To view the video please click here.

Suicide Intervention Plan

It is imperative that a plan is in place to address actively suicidal or students threatening suicide during the school day. Information for addressing these issues can be found here.


The SuicidePrevention.Ohio.Gov website includes recommended steps for intervention and resources for developing policies at the school and district level.


Suicide Hotlines & Support Lines

There are a variety of immediate intervention supports available to connect students, parents, and adults with licensed counselors and crisis response professionals to help anyone dealing with stress or crisis. This information should be provided to your students, staff and community and should be made accessible at any time, including school breaks, winter, and summer recess.

Suicide Hotlines & Support Lines

Crisis Text Line: Text HOPE to 741741 free, 24/7 Crisis Counseling

Ohio CareLine: 1-800-720-9616 Toll-free, Behavioral health professionals staff the Ohio CareLine 24 hours a day, 7 days/week.

Safer Ohio School Tip Line: 1-844-723-3764

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

National Spanish Speaking Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK *Press 2 (1-800-273-8255 *Press 2)

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National helpline): 1-800-662-HELP (4357) free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860 (English and Spanish)

The Trevor Project: National LGBT Youth Suicide and Support Hotline 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386)

Potential Scenarios with Action Steps

The OSSC has assembled some common questions and scenarios that we have received and provided some guidance on how to address them. Click on the label below to find out more.

Student mentions or references suicide, visit this resource for additional information

This website provides intervention steps of how to handle a student expressing suicidal ideations. 

Intervention Prevention Steps (ohio.gov)

Student mentions suicide to teacher/staff member or makes reference in an assignment

Staff member should speak to the student in private to get more information

  • Ask about why the student said what they did
  • Ask if they have been feeling depressed or have a reason for the comment
  • Ask them if they have been contemplating suicide
  • If not comfortable, go with the student to the school counselor
  • Express how much they care for them and want to help

For more information please visit Ensure Student Safety (ohio.gov)

Assess the students suicidal risk (ohio.gov)

Determine the mental health services needed (ohio.gov)

Student reports to counselor, nurse or other school staff thoughts of self harm or suicide

The counselor should talk with the student about:

  • How they are feeling
  • Why they feel this way
  • If they have a specific plan in place
  • What the plan looks like
  • How soon they intend to follow through
  • Express how much they care for them and want to help

If the counselor determines there is merit to the threat then the following steps should happen

  • Identify their support system
  • Contact a mental health provider for a formal evaluation transport to ER for evaluation
  • Contact the parent or guardian to inform
  • Notify administration, request support when contacting parent/guardian

Resources that discuss these steps further are included below.

Assess the students suicidal risk (ohio.gov)

Ensure Student Safety (ohio.gov)

Determine the mental health services needed (ohio.gov)

Ensure That The Student Receives Appropriate Care (ohio.gov)

Student tells a friend they are contemplating suicide

Educate your students to do the following

  • Ask their friend if they have an immediate plan
  • Do not leave them alone
  • Express how much they care for them and want to help
  • Ask them to go speak with a trusted adult, preferably the school counselor
  • Accompany them to speak to the trusted adult

Students should have awareness of the following resources regarding mental health and suicide

Student makes an actual attempt at school or expresses a specific plan they intend to follow

  • Contact your mental health partner to provide a suicide assessment or referral. If unavailable, contact local emergency room for an emergency evaluation
  • If necessary have school resource officer or law enforcement transport to emergency room
  • Contact the parent/guardian to inform of situation
  • Develop a plan for getting student mental health counseling
  • Communicate to school community, if appropriate, while maintaining confidentiality


  • Debrief staff members
  • Arrange for counseling to be available to students and staff in multiple locations
  • Create a media statement as appropriate while maintaining confidentiality
  • Address continuing mental health support

Below are evidence based resources, research and support on proper postvention procedures and how to develop a policy for your school or district. 

Postvention Prevention Steps (ohio.gov)