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 www.mynordstrom.com, 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.