This Policy is under review.
5540 - Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention
Last Updated Date: 01/24/2022
Adoption Date: 10/25/1999
Youth suicide impacts the safety of the school environment. It also affects the school community, diminishing the ability of surviving students to learn and the school’s ability to educate. Suicide and depression awareness and prevention are important Board goals.
Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention Program
The Superintendent or designee shall develop, implement, and maintain a suicide and depression awareness and prevention program (Program) that advances the Board’s goals of increasing awareness and prevention of depression and suicide. This program must be consistent with the requirements of Ann Marie’s Law listed below; each listed requirement, 1-6, corresponds with the list of required policy components in the School Code Section 5/2-3.163(c)(2)-(7). The Program shall include:
- Protocols for administering youth suicide awareness and prevention education to students and staff.
- For students, implementation will incorporate Board policy 6040 Curriculum Content, which implements 105 ILCS 5.2-3.139 and 105 ILCS 5/27-7 (requiring education for students to develop a sound mind and a healthy body).
- For staff, implementation will incorporate Board policy 4100, Staff Development, and teacher’s institutes under 105 ILCS 5/3-14.8 (requiring coverage of the warning signs of suicidal behavior).
- Procedures for methods of suicide prevention with the goal of early identification and referral of students possibly at risk of suicide. Implementation will incorporate:
- The training required by 105 ILCS 5/10-22.39 for licensed school personnel and administrators who work with students to identify the warning signs of suicidal behavior in adolescents and teens along with appropriate intervention and referral techniques, including methods of prevention, procedures for early identification, and referral of students at risk of suicide, and
- Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-recommended guidelines and educational materials for staff training and professional development, along with ISBE-recommended resources for students containing age-appropriate educational materials on youth suicide and awareness, if available pursuant to Ann Marie’s Law on ISBE’s website.
- Methods of intervention, including procedures that address an emotional or mental health safety plan for use during the school day and at school-sponsored events for a student identified as being at increased risk of suicide, including those students who: (a) suffer from a mental health disorder; (b) suffer from a substance abuse disorder; (c) engage in self-harm or have previously attempted suicide; (d) reside in an out-of-home placement; (e) are experiencing homelessness; (f) are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ); (g) are bereaved by suicide; or (h) have a medical condition or certain types of disabilities. Implementation will incorporate paragraph number 2, above, along with:
- Board policy 6370, Student Social and Emotional Development, implementing the goals and benchmarks of the Ill. Learning Standards and 405 ILCS 49/15(b) (requiring student social and emotional development in the District’s educational program);
- Board policy 6300, Education of Children with Disabilities, implementing special education requirements for the District;
- Board policy 6340, Education of Homeless Children, implementing provision of District services to students who are homeless;
- Implementing guidance and counseling program(s) for students, and 105 ILCS 5/10-22.24a and 22.24b, which allow a qualified guidance specialist or any licensed staff member to provide school counseling services.
- Board policy 6010, Equal Educational Opportunities, implementing supports for equal educational opportunities for students who are LGBTQ.
- Board policy 5110, School Admissions and Student Transfers To and From Non-District Schools, implementing State law requirements related to students who are in foster care;
- Implementing the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, 405 ILCS 49/ (requiring protocols for responding to students with social, emotional, or mental health issues that impact learning ability); and
- State and/or federal resources that address emotional or mental health safety plans for students who are possibly at an increased risk for suicide, if available on the ISBE’s website pursuant to Ann Marie’s Law.
- Methods of responding to a student or staff suicide or suicide attempt. Implementation of this requirement shall incorporate building-level Student Support Committee(s) established through Board policy.
- Reporting procedures. Implementation of this requirement shall incorporate Board policy in addition to other State and/or federal resources that address reporting procedures.
- A process to incorporate ISBE-recommend resources on youth suicide awareness and prevention programs, including current contact information for such programs in the District’s Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention Program.
The Board will review and update this policy pursuant to Ann Marie’s Law and Board policy.
Information to Staff, Parents/Guardians, and Students
The Superintendent shall inform each school district employee about this policy and ensure its posting on the District’s website. The Superintendent or designee shall provide a copy of this policy to the parent or legal guardian of each student enrolled in the District. Student identification (ID) cards, the District’s website, and the student handbook and planner will contain the support information as required by State law.
This policy shall be implemented in a manner consistent with State and federal laws, including the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, 405 ILCS 49/, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, 740 ILCS 110/, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.
The District, Board, and its staff are protected from liability by the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. Services provided pursuant to this policy: (1) do not replace the care of a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches or a licensed medical practitioner or professional trained in suicide prevention, assessments and counseling services, (2) are strictly limited to the available resources within the District, (3) do not extend beyond the school day and/or school-sponsored events, and (4) cannot guarantee or ensure the safety of a student or the student body.
105 ILCS 5/2-3.163, 5/14-1.01 et seq., 5/14-7.02, and 5/14-7.02b. 745 ILCS 10/.