Riverside Trauma Center provides support, consultation, training, and screening to Massachusetts communities when there is a suicide death and also to communities that want to proactively work towards prevention. We have also worked with various school districts to provide postvention and screening to middle and high school students.
Through funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Suicide Prevention Program, we have trained schools, churches, first responders, college residential counselors, and many others. Please visit our Trainings section for a listing of our current offerings.
We provide suicide screening to middle and high school students as requested by Massachusetts school districts. These screenings provide indicators that certain students might be struggling with depression or considering suicide.
Suicide screenings aid in the identification of students who need help, and they teach the entire school community how to recognize and respond to the potential warnings signs of someone considering suicide. Riverside Trauma Center uses a curriculum developed by Screening for Mental Health called Signs of Suicide (SOS). The key message of the SOS curriculum is to encourage students who are worried about themselves or a friend, to tell a responsible adult.
Having had a suicide death in a school increases the risk of suicide for other students. When we work in schools that have had a suicide death, we often find that 10-25% of students need to be seen by a clinician. After a suicide death, attention must be devoted to identifying whether close friends or others in the school might be at risk for suicide attempts or other risky behavior.
Suicide postvention involves planned interventions with people affected by a recent suicide death in an effort to ease the grieving process, stabilize the environment, and reduce the risk of negative behaviors, most notably the risk of contagion. These interventions include grief counseling and coping groups. Riverside Trauma Center’s Postvention Guidelines for schools and organizations were approved by the SPRC Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention.