3. Risk and Protective Factors

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Some factors increase the risk of suicidal behavior in youth. It is essential that educators are aware of these risk factors and can identify them in youth. Additionally, it is crucial to understand that risk factors do not necessarily mean that one may engage in suicidal behaviors.

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 identify various behavioral, family, and environmental risk factors for youth suicide.
2. Participants will be able to identify various behavioral, family/social support, and school protective factors for youth suicide.
3. Participants will be able to describe the relationship between bullying and youth suicide.

Course Supplemental Material:

  1. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (2012). The Role of High School Teachers in Preventing Suicide. Available here.
  2. Ryan, C. (2009). Supportive families, healthy children: Helping families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender children. San Francisco, CA: Family Acceptance Project, Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University. 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. National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide. Available here.
  5. Preventing Youth Suicide from Youth.gov. 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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