Suicide Prevention Education for Students

Student education for suicide prevention informs students about suicide and aids in identifying and supporting at-risk students. There has been significant research regarding effectiveness of suicide prevention education for students. Development and/or selection of curriculum should take into account each individual school’s needs, population, and requirements.  This page includes information about best practices for student education and links to effective models and other resources.

Best Practices in Student Education

There are several best-practices which have been identified to improve outcomes and effectiveness of suicide prevention education programs for students. These best practices include…

  • Utilizing a mental health model rather than a stress model
    • A mental health model allows for the complexities of what prompts suicidal ideation and behavior, whereas a stress model explains suicidal ideation and behavior as a normal response to stress, therefore destigmatizing suicide and potentially increasing risk of suicide.
  • Taught over multiple sessions​
    • Single-session curriculum has been shown to be harmful
  • Linking suicide prevention education with education on substance use, mental health, bullying, racism, and marginalization
  • Inclusion of the following information:


Understanding risk and protective factors for suicide, Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Positive Mental Health: Resilience Issue BriefSuicide Prevention Resource Center

The Myths and Facts of Youth SuicideOffice of Suicide Prevention at the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health

Suicide Prevention Strategies: A Systematic Review, University of Washington Department of Psychiatry

Save a Friend: Tips for Teens to Prevent Suicide, National Association of School Psychologists