How to Handle a Suicidal Student

As a teacher, you may have to deal with a suicidal student at some point in your career. This may be a student who has voiced suicidal ideas (whether ‘jokingly’ or ‘seriously’). Or it may be a student who has actually attempted to take his or her own life. Dealing with this sort of situation can be very difficult for a teacher. But you still have to deal with it. There are certain specific things that you need to do, while dealing with such a student. Those are the things that you, as a teacher, are expected to do when you are faced with such a situation. Today, we will be highlighting some of those things. And that is where, without further ado, we come to learn that while dealing with a suicidal student, you need to:

  1. Link the student up with a counselor: this is something you need to do, even if the student has only expressed suicidal ideas ‘jokingly’. Such a student needs the services of a professional counselor, and you need to hasten in linking the student with a counselor.
  2. Ensure that the student gets psychiatric attention: in most cases, suicidal ideation is caused by depression. Many, in fact all, of the suicidal patients require psychiatric treatment: usually a combination of medications and counseling. Admittedly, psychiatric care can be expensive. But you can’t afford to have the student forego it. If the student’s parents have some sort of health insurance cover, chances are that the insurance company will cater for the psychiatric care costs. So you may need to find out whether the student’s parents have health insurance, and whether the student is covered under the policy. Like if, for instance, the parents work for a company like Nordstrom, you can advise his parents to check their health insurance coverage limits at the Nordstrom employees portal (which is described on the employeeloginz website). Usually, kids under 18 are covered. But the parents can go to the portal, at, log in, and check for coverage details. Even if there is no money to pay for the student’s psychiatric care, you can talk to the local social workers, to see how the student can be treated at public expense.
  3. Keep a watchful eye on the student: the objective here is to ensure that the student doesn’t act on the suicidal ideation before he gets treatment. If it is a very bad case of attempted suicide, you may need to have the student admitted at a psychiatric ward, where there are professionals who are trained on how to restrain people who have suicidal ideation.
  4. Notify the school administration: you simply shouldn’t attempt to deal with a suicidal student, without notifying the school administration. If anything goes wrong, you’d be held personally responsible.
  5. Involve the student’s parents: it is imprudent to deal with a suicidal student at the school level, without involving the parents. So you need to not only notify the parents, but ensure that they are fully involved in the process of trying to get help for their child.

Using Anti-Depressants to Treat Suicidal Patients

Antidepressant medications can be of great help in treating people who have become suicidal. Whether you are dealing with people who only have suicidal ideation, or with people who have actually attempted to commit suicide, anti-depressants can be of great help.

Suicidal patients need to be evaluated by psychiatrists, before they can be put on anti-depressant medications. It takes a psychiatrist to figure out whether a given patient would be best served by taking anti-depressant medications or not.  There is a certain criterion or rather, a certain checklist, that a psychiatrists goes through mentally, before making a decision on whether or not to put a patient on anti-depressant medications. But generally, if a patient’s depression has gotten to a point where it is causing suicidal ideation, it warrants treatment using anti-depressants. But you could be dealing with a complex situation: like where someone attempted to go through the UPSers sign up process, only to keep on failing. The person in question may turn out to have been one of the former Upsers (that is, people who were working for UPS), trying to get his job back. Upon failing in that endeavor, he develops suicidal ideation. In such cases, it can be very hard for a psychiatrist to make a decision on whether or not to put the patient on anti-depressant medication. For clearly, although the patient has developed suicidal ideation, it is not due to chronic depression — but rather due to life challenges that can possibly be dealt with through counseling and cognitive therapy.

All said and done, there are three challenges that tend to arise (for psychiatrists), while using anti-depressants to treat suicidal patients.

The first challenge is that of identifying the best anti-depressant medications for use in treatment of specific patients. You see, some of these medications have paradoxical effects: where, rather than reducing the suicidal ideation, they enhance it!

The second challenge is that of figuring out the right dosage for use in the treatment of suicidal patients.

The third challenge is that of figuring out when to get the patients off the anti-depressant medications. Here, the problem is in the fact that the patients may relapse into suicidal ideation, if they are taken off the medication. Yet, at the same time, they may be averse to the idea of using the medication for a lifetime — hence presenting a dilemma for the psychiatrist.

3 Simple Strategies That May Be Used to Reduce the Incidence of Suicide

There are certain simple strategies that can be used to reduce the incidence of suicide. In today’s article, we will be looking at 3 of those. And without further ado, those 3 simple strategies that may be used to reduce the incidence of suicide include:

  1. Encouraging people to talk about their problems: a good number of the people who resort to suicide are those who have ‘bottled up issues.’ Yet if they talked to people about their problems, the burdens wouldn’t be so heavy on them.
  2. Encouraging people to be more forgiving: here, we are talking about being able to forgive others who wrong us. We are also talking about being able to forgive ourselves. Many of the people who resort to suicide tend to be folks who feel that they have either let themselves down too much, or that they have been let down by others in big, unforgivable ways. So forgiveness is key
  3. Encouraging people to have broader perspectives: there are people whose perspectives are very narrow. These are the people who, for instance, lose a job – and imagine that that is the end of the world. Or they are the people who, for instance, are left by a spouse, fiancée or fiancé , and imagine that that is the end of the world. So, in response to the losses, the resort to suicide. The way to help such people is by encouraging them to have broader perspective. It is a question of getting them to understand that nothing is permanent in this world. That things come and go. And that when one thing goes, the vacuum is often filled up by something better. Thus one may, for instance, have lost a job where they were being paid through the Paperlezz Epay portal, which is accessible on the web at But that is not the end of the world. The loss may herald a new beginning: with, say, a consultancy job that pays much better. Having broader perspective can help you to avoid viewing small things as the end of the world. With the right perspective, one is able to accept reality without blowing things out of proportion.

The Role of Parents in Suicide Prevention

Many experts hold the view that parents have a role to play in suicide prevention. This is to say that there are things a parent can do, to lower the chances of his or her child being suicidal later in life. It is by now a well-settled fact that suicide is caused by mental illness – specifically depression. Suicide is therefore essentially a complication of depressive illnesses. And there are practical things that a parent can do, to make his or her child less prone to depression.

To be sure, depression has a biological (neurochemical) basis – meaning that some people are born with a natural predisposition to depressive illnesses. But usually, there has to be a trigger, for the depressive illness to manifest. And this is where the role of the parent comes in: where, with proper parenting, one can make his or her child less prone to such ‘triggers’ — now and in the future.

Therefore, the role of parents in suicide prevention is that of consistently using proper parenting methods. If you use the proper parenting methods consistently, you will end up with a resilient, well-adjusted child. The child will grow into a resilient, well-adjusted adult. Such a person will be less prone to depressive illnesses later in life. And consequently, such a person will be less prone to suicide in the future. As an adult, he or she will be able to consistently do what is expected, without being too harsh on himself or herself. If, for instance, he gets a job at CVS, he will be able to work diligently – coping well with the workplace pressures and the daily struggles of human life. Then, fortnightly, he will be able to go to the myhr CVS portal, login and find his paycheck: that being the reward for his effort and diligence at work. And he or she will be well satisfied with that arrangement. So we see a well adjusted life there. On the other hand, a person who was brought up using the wrong parenting methods may have turned to drugs, lapsed into depression and eventually developed suicidal tendencies.

By the way, when we make reference to ‘proper parenting’, we refer to the approach where you are generally nice to your kids, and where you handle them like real human beings, with respect. The idea is to nicely tell them what is expected of them. Then you should go ahead and help them (in their earliest years) in living up to the expectations. This is opposite to the approach where you don’t tell the kids what is expected of them, but where you expect them to figure it out somehow! That is the approach where you are quick to punish them for the smallest of ‘mistakes’ — even those that are inadvertent. Kids who are brought up in the latter (harsh) way tend to develop low self esteem. Low self esteem is a precursor to depression. And depression, if it goes untreated, can lead to suicidal tendencies.

Enhancing the Role of Psychiatrists in Suicide Prevention

Psychiatrists are among the key professionals who can play an important role in suicide prevention. Unfortunately, psychiatrists are often left out in suicide prevention initiatives. Sometimes, they are inadvertently overlooked. At other times, they are deliberately left out by people who should know better. Yet, in the final analysis, if we are to make any real progress in suicide prevention efforts, we need to enhance the role of psychiatrists. That is because psychiatrists are, for the most part, the relevant professionals in these matters. It is the psychiatrists who really understand the mental processes that predispose some people to suicide. It is psychiatrists who know how such mental processes can be dealt with, to end up with better outcomes. Ideally, in suicide prevention efforts, other professionals should play supporting roles, with psychiatrists providing the leadership. But what we tend to see is different. What we tend to see are scenarios where psychiatrists are relegated to supporting roles, even as other professionals (who really know nothing about these matters) take the leading roles. That is why many suicide psychiatrists initiatives don’t seem to make much headway.

To enhance the role of psychiatrists in suicide prevention, we need to get people to view suicide as a mental health issue. Currently, many people are still in the stage where they view suicide as a moral issue or as something that is purely caused by life frustrations. Until we can get people to view it as a mental health issue, we won’t make much headway.

Further, having gotten people to view suicide as a mental health issue, we need to get them to understand that it is from psychiatrists that they can get real help.

On the other hand, psychiatry courses need to emphasize more on suicide prevention. In many medical schools, the topic of suicide prevention is dealt with as a ‘by-the-way’ – when tackling illnesses such as depression. We need to move towards a scenario where suicide prevention can be offered as a course unit on its own, with many credit hours going to it.