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Newport-Mesa Recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Posted 9/17/20

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) would like to continue creating awareness and strengthening our efforts in shedding light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic.

NMUSD National Suicide Prevention Month Activities Calendar - All month long you can post your activities to social media using #BeThe1To #EachMindMatters and #SanaMente. Tag @NMUSD so we can follow along!

NMUSD National Suicide Prevention Month Inforgraphic 

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. With effective care, suicidal thoughts are treatable, and suicide is preventable. Common barriers to treatment include the cost of mental health care and insurance, prejudice and discrimination, and structural barriers. People experiencing mental health conditions often face stigma, this can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult.

Learning how to cope with stigma and how to avoid and address stigma are important for all of us. Warning signs can be subtle, but they are there. By recognizing these signs, knowing how to start a conversation and where to turn for help, we have the power to make a difference – the power to save a life.

  • Know the signs - For some, it's too difficult to talk about the pain, thoughts of suicide and the need for help. Pain isn’t always obvious, but most suicidal people show some signs that they are thinking about suicide. The signs may appear in conversations, through their actions, or in social media posts. If you observe one or more of these warning signs, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change, step in or speak up.

  • Find the words - When it comes to suicide prevention, finding the right phrase to start the conversation is crucial. 

  • Talk about it - Don’t be afraid to say the wrong thing, just ask “Have you had suicidal thoughts?” And then listen. 

  • Reach out - You are not alone in helping someone in crisis. There are resources available to assess, treat, and intervene. Crisis lines, counselors, intervention programs are available to you, as well as to the person experiencing the emotional crisis.

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Mental Health Support Services Within NMUSD:

NMUSD makes intentional efforts to help identify and support students and staff’s emotional wellbeing, not only in response to crisis but also proactively because we value everyone's needs. Some of the resources and initiatives that our District offers, include:

  • District-wide commitment to the integration of social-emotional learning (SEL) that fosters a supportive learning environment for all students, including growing preventative measures such as: 

    • Increase of general education elementary behavior specialists that provide universal behavioral and social emotional support to all students

    • Trained staff in trauma responsive teaching practices Social Emotional Learning (SEL) practices for both virtual and in-person school models

  • Highly qualified crisis response team deployed in time of a critical incident specialized staff (such as psychologists, counselors and social workers) to support all students

  • Suicide prevention signage posted in all middle and high school restrooms that include information on how students can access help if they feel anxious, depressed or thinking about harming themselves

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is printed on all 7 through 12 grade student identification cards

For more information please visit the student services webpage.