REPORTING A STUDENT CONCERN
To report an incident or student concern, please click this link: Van Buren Elementary School: Student Concern Form. You will be directed to complete a form which will be forwarded to that school's administrative staff.
PLEASE NOTE: As with any emergency, please call 911 right away. The Student Concern forms, while monitored by school administrators, do not go to law enforcement agencies and may not be read immediately upon receipt.
SELF-HARM AND SUICIDE
Plainfield Schools conducted a survey of students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members. One key takeaway? Well over half of students of all ages reported feeling sad every day.
While we realize that feeling sad does not usually lead to self-harm or suicide, it is cause for concern. There has been increased focus in recent years on the increase of suicide in the United States, and Indiana is not immune.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), suicide is the second leading cause of death throughout the United States for three age groups:
The Indiana Department of Education shared this report in 2018:
Indiana has the 3rd highest rate (1 in 5) of high school students in the nation who have contemplated suicide.
Indiana tied for the 10th highest percentage (1 in 9) of high school students attempting suicide.
Males are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than females.
Females are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than males.
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for youth ages 10-14.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24.
The statistics are alarming, and death by suicide is one of Indiana’s most concerning health issues. However, there is help and hope when parents, schools, and communities join forces to address suicide as a preventable public health problem.
A study by the United Health Foundation tracked suicide among age groups in 2018 and 2019. The national rates, per 100,000 people, were 13.1 in 2018 and 14.4 in 2019. In Indiana, those rates grew from 15.7 to 16.7 per 100,000 Hoosiers between 15 and 24.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TO SUPPORT STUDENTS
Plainfield Schools employs two Mental Wellness Counselors to support middle and high school students. These counselors are in addition to the Guidance and School Counselors who work in each school.
In 2019, Plainfield Schools began hosting parent forums using material developed by the QPR Institute. QPR stands for Question. Persuade. Refer., and is a leading model for suicide prevention.
Mental Wellness Counselors Christa Detzel (PHS) and Jennifer Bigelow (PCMS) are certified QPR facilitators, and they have now presented this training to all district teachers and administrators.
While QPR is not a form of counseling or treatment, it does offer hope through positive action, and equips individuals to recognize the warning signs, clues and suicidal communications of people in trouble.
By having a better understanding of suicide in general, and educating staff and the community on the hope that QPR offers, we are able to support students who are struggling with thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
Question. Persuade. Refer. ASK A QUESTION, SAVE A LIFE.
Warning signs of suicide:
Previous suicide attempts
Alcohol or drug abuse
Statements revealing a desire to die
Sudden changes in behavior
Making final arrangements
Giving away prized possessions
Purchasing a gun or stockpiling pills
Community Resource numbers:
In Crisis? Text 741741
Cummins Behavioral Health Avon: (888) 714-1927
Hamilton Center Plainfield: (317) 837-9719
Ascension St. Vincent Stress Center Indianapolis: 317-338-4800
To learn more about QPR, visit their website at www.qprinstitute.com