Students: Different Ways to Improve Suicide Prevention in Your Community

Ellen Schindel


March 10, 2023

Trigger Warning: Suicide

This article is a collection of different resources for student leaders who want to improve suicide prevention in their community. This is by no means a complete list and there are many other resources available to students. I also recommend looking at programming done by local organizations.

  1. Training Resources

BeThere is a free online training that is less than 2 hours long and is designed to help people be able to “recognize signs of struggle, start the conversation, [know] how to build trust and offer practical support, become a better listener, [understand] the importance of setting healthy boundaries, help someone access professional resources, [and know] how to maintain your own mental health”.


QPR Institute is a training that teaches the signs of struggle and how one can approach and help  someone showing signs. The training can be done individually or through one’s school. The course touches on the heavy topic of suicide appropriately and even has a learning path for those who have attempted suicide or who’ve had suicidal thoughts.


The Connect Program

The Connect Program has a Youth Leaders training in which, for 2 days, the student leader will be partnered with adults in Youth Suicide Prevention. This will ultimately prepare students to be a co-facilitator in giving Youth training to their school communities.


  1. Promote Social Connectedness and Support

Though this may seem obvious, creating supportive, inclusive communities protect students from certain risk factors for suicide, such as social isolation and stress. Student leaders should promote activities and events that reduce isolation and support the creation of relationships within their groups and organizations.

Additionally, some universities assign student workers to be “mandatory reporters”, meaning that if a student discloses something that concerns their physical, mental, or emotional health, the student workers/ leaders would be required to notify an adult staff member so that the student of concern receives support. The implementation of a similar position within one’s organization can ensure that students are seeking appropriate help and being given adequate resources to improve their physical, mental, or emotional health.

  1. Increase Help-Seeking

This means helping those in the community recognize when they are struggling, so they are able to ask for help. Even if they are unsure about reaching out to you or another student, promoting self-help tools, outreach campaigns, and psychological services are good ways to help those who are struggling. This can also be done by normalizing mental health care in your community and in your everyday life.

  1. Bring in organizations or join a local chapter

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides multiples ways to get involved and make a difference in your community. While it can be a scary task to start a program or club at your school, AFSP helps make it less daunting.


Information provided by https://sprc.org/effective-prevention/a-comprehensive-approach-to-suicide-prevention/ & https://sprc.org/risk-and-protective-factors/ & https://tea.texas.gov/about-tea/other-services/mental-health/suicide-prevention-intervention-and-postvention & https://afsp.org/

Are you in a crisis?

Text or call 988

The JED Foundation: call 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741 to talk to a free, trained confidential counselor

Crisis Text Line: text “HOME” to 741741 during a crisis to get help from a trained crisis counselor

Other resources:

Teenline: https://www.teenline.org/

Mental Health is Health: https://www.mentalhealthishealth.us/

National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://nami.org/Home

TalkSpace: https://www.talkspace.com/

Download Promly in the App Store for more every-day resources and tools to cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.

Ellen Schindel

I'm an undergraduate from Tulane pursuing a dual degree in Public Health and Anthropology and will be graduating in May. After graduating, I'm pursuing my Masters of Public Health in Health Policy. I'm passionate about survivor support, mental health, and increasing access to health care and resources.