After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools | 43 Going Forward After a school has addressed the needs arising directly from a suicide, it should consider implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention program, if it does not already have one. This is also a good time to develop or review policies and procedures for dealing with all deaths, including deaths by suicide. There are no specific guidelines regarding how long a school should wait after a death to implement such a program. However, a school should not use a prevention program as a substitute for responding to how students and others in the school community have been impacted by the death. Students and staff will likely be more ready to receive prevention information after grief needs have been appropriately addressed. Some experts suggest waiting several months or a semester before providing prevention education to students, teachers, and other school staff. A useful resource for developing a school-based suicide prevention plan is Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools. It offers guidance on implementing key components of a comprehensive plan, including creating protocols on identifying and responding to students at risk of suicide; educating staff, students, and parents; and establishing postvention policies and programs. Another useful tool is Model School Policy on Suicide Prevention, which provides model language, explanations, and resources to help schools develop a suicide prevention policy. The Resources and Programs section of SPRC’s website has information on and links to suicide prevention programs, many of which are designed for schools. Programs with evidence of effectiveness are flagged. Some schools may also wish to take collective action to address the problem of suicide, such as participating in an awareness or fundraising event to support a national suicide prevention organization or local community mental health center. AFSP has chapters in all 50 states that can help connect individuals to volunteer suicide prevention opportunities in their communities. For more information on national opportunities, see AFSP’s website.