Student Support Tools Help with Suicide Prevention

The number of students struggling with suicide is rising. It is now the second leading cause of death among Americans aged 10 to 34.  Currently, youth and young adults ages 10 to 25 account for 15% of all suicides. Nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide, while 9% have attempted suicide, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In response to these alarming statistics, EduGuide has incorporated several layers of protection to support struggling students. One of these tools is the Crisis Catcher. 

Crisis Catcher identifies students who may need help

EduGuide’s reflective online writing platform provides students a safe space to journal about their goals, setbacks, and challenges in their life. Teachers and counselors can read students’ reflections and can respond to students with mentoring comments. Connecting through these comments is a way to support all students.  And it can be especially important when students struggle. 

EduGuide’s Crisis Catcher provides earlier identification of students whose writing indicates they may need help with anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. The Crisis Catcher: 

  • Flags “warning words” in student writing that indicate they may be at risk or harming themselves or others.
  • Sends a message to the student about how to get immediate help through a crisis hotline. 
  • Sends a message to identified support staff at the school.  
  • Follows up until the school confirms that the message was received.

Helping students in crisis more quickly 

Minette Dueñas, an administrator at Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School in Texas, explained how EduGuide’s Crisis Catcher worked to help teachers and administrators in a situation at her school. 

“I received an alert from the system’s Crisis Catcher. One of our students had written a reflection and used words that triggered concern. I was not only notified immediately, but I also received a personal email from one of EduGuide’s employees to make sure I had followed up on the situation. This tool is so critical to identifying potential harmful situations. The system alert was amazing, but the fact that it was followed by personal communication speaks to the fact that EduGuide is truly committed to their mission and vision.”

Other schools have also benefited from EduGuide’s Crisis Catcher alerts. 

“As a school counselor, I would have to say that the Crisis Catcher is helping a lot. It has made our team aware of things that were going on for students and assisted us in making sure the student is getting the help quicker that they need,”  said Jane Zieman, a counselor at Conner Middle School in Arkansas.

This video describes a case where EduGuide enabled a counselor to intervene early for a suicidal student before it was too late. 

While theCrisis Catcher can’t detect every crisis, it provides schools with a new way to quickly identify when students need help. 

Multiple layers of student support

Built on decades of research, EduGuide’s model includes multiple layers of support to address students’ mental and behavioral health. That’s because regardless of their grades, every student’s success is shaped by how they handle the things that can get in the way of that success. EduGuide’s multilayered system includes:

  1. Reducing anxiety. 4-in-5 students say that EduGuide makes them more self-motivated and most report EduGuide helps them manage stress better and bounce back faster from setbacks.
  2. Creating a network of first responders. Students are trained how to mentor, encourage and support their peers, so they can be the first to step in when they see someone who needs help. For instance, one high school student shared, “I have talked to others about how they feel and I gave them good enough advice that they’re still on this planet.
  3. Improving healthy behaviors. Students achieve significant improvements in a range of areas such as relationships, sleep and building positive habits.
  4. Growing professional development. Teachers and others gain a greater understanding of their students’ social and emotional challenges and how to more effectively coach them.
  5. Building a positive climate and culture. EduGuide’s campus-wide program grows a stronger school community  where all staff and students practice new ways of encouraging each other weekly.
  6. Improving trauma recovery. Staff and students can use EduGuide’s control group studied writing activity to measurably improve recovery from traumatic events in their lives.

In short, catching a crisis–or even better, preventing one–starts with EduGuide’s proactive program to grow emotional strengths and build networks of support that create a community where both students and staff can thrive.

Schedule a call today to learn more about how EduGuide can benefit your school community.


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An award-winning nonprofit founded in 2000, EduGuide's programs have been used by thousands of schools and colleges to coach millions of students to success. Learn more about us.

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