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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Suicide Prevention and where it starts....

A topic that has been on my mind lately is suicide prevention. Being in a middle school and in a district where two teens committed suicide last year, this subject weighs heavy on my heart. As a counselor, past teacher, and mom....it breaks my heart. Each day I meet with such wonderful kiddos who I am constantly amazed with. I ask myself the same question...how are some so resilient and others so fragile. Of course, life throws us fastballs and things aren't always fair but this stirs me to think of how we, as counselors and educators, can help kids realize just how amazing they are and what a bright future they have.

There are two areas we can target: Internet Safety and Self Esteem. I know both can start as early as Kindergarten and should be implemented and show up all year long.

I searched some of our fellow bloggers great ideas and found some amazing lessons:

 Self Esteem:

I loved this activity I saw over at Scrapbook of a School Counselor:

This is a super creative activity where kids would have a keepsake. This is from the School Counselor Blog:

I know there are so many more great ideas out there but I think the key to suicide prevention is building self esteem as young as possible while also focusing on resiliency. The second area is internet safety since most bullying takes place on social media. Most reports I hear of bullying or as the cause of depression are linked to online harassment.

When I was an elementary counselor, I loved the resource our district provided us. It was called NetSmartz.You can find information here. The kids loved it and I feel like they really understood the concept.
Here is a clip of it. It is available in Spanish, too!! The  website has so many resources for parents and educators. The super cool part is that it has videos for Tweens and Teens, too. This may be hands down one of my favorite resources!!!

I feel that with a combination of these two topics that we can really educate our students and it may help to prevent some of the other stuff. I know suicide will still happen but I think as counselors we need to at least do everything we possibly can to stop it!!!

If you haven't liked my facebook page, check out the Stylish School Counselor on facebook where I post resources, articles, and answer any questions new or existing counselors have!!

Have a great week!

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