After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools | 3 • • Help should be available for any student who may be struggling with mental health issues or suicidal feelings. • • Postvention efforts need to consider the cultural diversity of those affected by a suicide. After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools was designed to help schools respond immediately in the minutes, hours, and days after a suicide as well as in the weeks and months it takes the school community to heal and move forward. Since significant numbers of high school-aged youth die by suicide across the United States every year, every school needs to be prepared to respond to such an event. Brief Descriptions of the Toolkit Sections Crisis Response – Steps that should be taken immediately when the school learns that a student has died by suicide Helping Students Cope – Ways that the school can help reduce the emotional trauma of an unexpected death for all students and reduce suicide risk among vulnerable students Working with the Community – Approaches to sharing information and coordinating activities with organizations and groups outside the school, including the police department, local government, faith community, and mental health providers Working with the Media – Helping journalists ensure that the public gets the information it needs without causing undue emotional stress, increasing the risk of contagion to other students, or violating the privacy of the deceased and his or her family Memorialization – Appropriately remembering and honoring a student who died without contributing to additional emotional trauma or suicide risk among other students Social Media – How to appropriately use social media to inform the community while working to limit the spread of rumors and social media content that can raise the risk of vulnerable students Suicide Contagion – Helping vulnerable students who may be in emotional or suicidal crisis as a result of the death of another student, member of the school community, or a celebrity with whom they identify, in order to avoid additional suicidal behavior and deaths Bringing in Outside Help – Identifying and working with postvention experts from outside the school Going Forward – Moving past the immediate crisis and implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention plan (if the school does not already have one) Appendix A: Tools and Templates – Sample guidelines, letters, and procedures to be used in the aftermath of a suicide Appendix B: Additional Resources – Sources of more information and guidance on preparing for and responding to a suicide in the school community, listed by the section of the toolkit to which they are most relevant