Preventing suicide through enhancing school capacity to prevent and respond to students at-risk for suicide.

The Hope Policy Academy seeks to support schools in examining and improving on their current policies regarding suicide prevention and intervention.

Each section is full of links to connect school administrators and other personnel to the most helpful and relevant resources that will help inform the creation and refinement of policies around suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. 

The Hope Policy Academy is an initiative of the Brown School at Washington University of St. Louis.


Suicide prevention refers to efforts to prevent suicide from occurring. This may include training and education (for students, staff, caregivers, and the wider community), universal screening, and promoting and maintaining a positive school climate.

Topics covered within prevention include:


Intervention refers to a combination of efforts of communication, structural, and therapeutic strategies designed to reduce the form, frequency, intensity and duration of current suicidal thoughts, feelings, urges, or actions. This may include assessment and formulation of suicide risk, safety planning, crisis Intervention, and management of crises and ongoing support and monitoring following crises.

Topics covered within intervention include:

  • Crisis intervention procedures and protocol
  • Family and community involvement
  • Crisis response teams
  • Risk Assessment


Postvention refers to efforts after a suicide or suicidal crisis has occurred aimed at promoting and facilitating healing and limiting future risk. This may include services provided for the students, staff, and the greater community and the way that the school communicates regarding the crisis after it has occurred.

Topics covered within postvention include:

  • Postvention example steps
  • Postvention as prevention
  • Safe messaging and media protocol


Events that deliver the practical and research-based information to education-related professionals are one of the foundational cornerstones of the Hope Policy Academy. 

Learn about previous and upcoming Hope Policy Academy events:

  • Inaugural Hope Policy Academy 2019 ⁠— St. Louis 
  • Hope Policy Academy ⁠— Chicago Public Schools
  • Upcoming events


Look for boxes like this to find definitions for useful terms throughout the Hope Policy Academy site

An overview of important definitions can also be found on the “Important Terms” page

Effective Models

Look for these boxes to find examples of evidence-based models, where relevant


Look for boxes like this on each page to find helpful resources tailored to the subject matter of that page.