2. School-related Epidemiology

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Teachers are inundated with professional development opportunities and requirements. It is critical that the impact of suicide on schools is clearly stated, and there are data to support that impact. It is also important to include relevant information on topics that may be related to suicide (as risk factors), such as the relationship between suicide and bullying, substance abuse, and/or sexual preference.


Terri A. Erbacher, Ph.D; Clinical Associate Professor, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; Author of Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-Level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention
Matthew Wintersteen, Ph.D; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior Director of Research, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University; Executive Board, Prevent Suicide PA, Philadelphia, PA

Course Length: 30 minutes credit

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to summarize basic facts and data on the prevalence of youth suicide nationally and in Pennsylvania.
  2. Participants will be able to describe general trends in suicidal behaviors for different age, gender, sexual orientation, and racial/ethnic groups.
  3. Participants will be able to identify risk/protective factors and warning signs for youth suicide, as portrayed through video vignettes.

Course Supplemental Material:

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). Preventing suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools. Available here.
  2. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (2012). The Role of High School Teachers in Preventing Suicide. Available here.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). The Relationship between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What It Means for Schools. Available here.
  4. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2014, July). Suicide prevention among LGBT youth: A workshop for professionals who serve youth. [Rev. ed.]. Waltham, MA: Education Development Center, Inc. Available here.
  5. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). “Mental Health by the Numbers” webpage. Available here.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, June). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey Results, 2015. Available here.

Course Achievement: No certificate will be available for this class. Completion for this class will, however, show up on the user’s transcript.  Once users complete the entire course (8 classes), they will be able to print a certificate.

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