Follow the checklist with special considerations:
□Be sensitive to the family's wishes as to details of the suicide.
□Refer to TNCDSB's Postvention Suicide Protocol.
□Lower the flag only as directed by the Director of Education.
□Avoid glorification of death.
□Immediately identify those at high risk to decrease chances of the copy cat syndrome. Consult parent(s) and suggest referral to appropriate agencies in consultation with the school counsellor and board's mental health leader.
Indicators of Suicidal Intention
□Remarks or references to committing suicide, even if casual or off-hand.
□Previous suicide attempts.
□Glorification of, or admiration expressed for someone who has recently died by suicide.
□ Marked changes in behaviour, mood, or personality.
□Recent bout of depression or sadness that now appears to be over.
□ Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities or friends.
□Marked drop in academic performance.
□Evidence of substance abuse.
□ Making of "final arrangements" such as giving away prized possessions or writing a will. Evidence of "trigger events" such as failing a test, breaking up with boyfriend or girlfriend, dispute with parents or teachers, recent loss of a friend or loved one through death, divorce, moving, etc.
Additional information on suicide can be obtained from TNCDSB's Prevention/Intervention and Postvention Suicide Protocols.
Suicide: A Different Kind of Tragedy
When someone in the school community has died by suicide, most of the information presented in sections of this document is still applicable. In many ways, dealing with the aftermath of a suicide is the same as dealing with any other death. There are, however, some important differences of which school staff need to be aware. One such difference involves the feelings which typically are experienced by the friends and loved ones of a suicide victim as opposed to the victims of other deaths. In addition to the normal feelings such as anger, denial, hopelessness and sadness which usually accompany loss, the survivors of suicide victims may also experience a great deal of guilt. Because suicide is sometimes assumed to be the result of the deceased's feelings of not being loved, those left behind can experience a sense of failure, or even feel responsible for the tragedy and frustrated at their own inadequacy or inability to prevent it.
Much of what has been covered in previous sections of this booklet regarding mourning, grieving, and death is relevant and applicable in the aftermath of a suicide. What is different, however, is the nature of the death, and this will alter questions young people will pose to themselves and to their friends, teachers, and parents. In the case of a suicide, it is important to help young people to examine questions such as why a person might take his or her own life, who is "to blame", could I or should I have done something to prevent the tragedy, what better course of action could the deceased have taken, etc. Young people may need help understanding that suicide is a mistake, but having died by suicide should not make the deceased a better or worse person in our memories.
The Principal will call their assigned Superintendent immediately and organize Tragic Event. Please refer to TNCDSB Suicide Awareness, Intervention and Postvention Protocol as found on the board website.