Due to the prevalence of adolescent suicide, school districts nationwide are beginning to require teaching about suicide in the curriculum. Greater than half of all schools teach about suicide prevention. More prevention education is needed.
Since adolescents spend a great amount of time in school, the school can serve as an ideal venue for prevention education. Most adolescents who are suicidal will tend to show suicide warning signs to others, including their peers. In addition, peers are the individuals who adolescents most often turn to in confiding their feelings and problems. Thus, all students should be aware of suicide warning signs and appropriate steps to take when a friend shows signs or states that they are contemplating suicide.
Many school professionals fear that teaching about suicide prevention provides students with ideas and methods about killing themselves and therefore leads to increased suicide attempts. However, research studies show that when issues concerning suicide are taught in a sensitive and educational manner students tend to show significant gains in knowledge about suicidal warning signs and more positive attitudes toward help-seeking behaviors with troubled peers.