Suicide Prevention & Awareness

IUSD is committed to the wellbeing of our students and recognizes that suicide prevention is a critically important issue in supporting our students, staff, and families. IUSD recognizes that suicide is a growing health concern and is the second leading cause of death among children aged 10-24 years old (2019, CDC).

(IUSD Board Policy 5141.52 - Suicide Prevention)

If you or someone you know is actively suicidal call


Warning signs

  • Talking about feelings of hopelessness, death, or feeling trapped
  • Threatening or planning suicide
  • Giving away possessions
  • Writing goodbye letters
  • Concerning social media content
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Feelings of failure or shame
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Doing dangerous, life threatening things
  • Regularly engaging in self-harm
  • Sudden improvement in mood

risk factors

  • Mental health conditions
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • History of suicide among family member or close friend
  • Prolonged stress from harassment, bullying, relationship problems
  • Access to lethal means such as firearms or drugs
  • Increased Alcohol or drug use
  • Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma

how to help

  • Don’t leave a suicidal person alone
  • Ensure safety in the environment through the removal of harmful items such as firearms, drugs, and prescription medication
  • You will not contribute to the likelihood of someone acting on their thoughts of suicide by engaging in conversation about their suicidal thoughts. Start by asking questions
  • Increase protective factors such as providing routine and stability, accessing mental health resources, encouraging coping skills, consistent monitoring, supporting positive connections with friends and family


988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

The Mobile Crisis Assessment Team (CAT)

This multidisciplinary program provides prompt mobile response in the county when an individual is experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Clinicians respond to calls from anyone in the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week year-round and dispatch to locations throughout Orange County.



talking with someone who might be suicidal

  • Express your care and concern for them
  • Actively listen without judgment and show empathy
  • Directly ask “are you thinking about suicide” 
  • Take their thoughts and feelings seriously and don’t minimize or dismiss them
  • Don’t make promises to keep their thoughts or plans of suicide secret
  • Reach out for support and offer hotlines or resources

in school supports

  • At the school site, there are several professionals who are able to help provide direct support to students in need. These can include Elementary Resource Counseling Specialists, Mental Health Specialists, School Counselors, or School Psychologists. In addition, a trusted adult such as a teacher, administrator, or other support staff can assist with connecting students to appropriate resources.

links and resources