The Bellevue School District learning community suffered a tremendous loss with the death of a student on November 5, 2021. BSD Interim Superintendent, Dr. Art Jarvis, shares a message with BSD families around importance of community during crisis and the outpouring of support in our learning community as we navigate tragedy together. Dr. Jarvis shares his appreciation to staff for their hard work and dedication to students through this difficult time.
Supporting students, staff and families has been and continues to be critical. Please use the mental health and well-being resources below to learn how BSD and our community partners can support you.
Mental Health & Signs of Suicide Program
BSD staff have been trained and have begun to implement the Signs of Suicide (SOS) Program. Additionally, our Mental Health Assistance Team (MHAT) has expanded significantly this year.
Signs of Suicide (SOS)Signs of Suicide (SOS) is a school-wide, evidence-based suicide prevention program that consists of a curriculum and evaluation tools. The goal of the program is to decrease suicide and suicide attempts by increasing knowledge and changing attitudes about depression, mental health and suicide. Despite a commonly held misconception, numerous research studies have debunked the myth that talking about suicide causes suicide. Resources on this topic including the reference to a peer reviewed journal article on this topic are provided below.
All seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth grade students will have the opportunity to participate in our “Signs of Suicide” lesson. Parents are encouraged to learn more about this lesson on the SOS Signs of Suicide – For Parents webpage. Through this lesson, students learn that suicide is very complicated, that it is important to talk about suicide, and that no one single thing causes suicide.
Mental Health Assistance Team
The Mental Health Assistance Team (MHAT) identifies students with mental health needs and expands access to evidence-based services, delivered by highly trained and skilled BSD staff including mental health professionals. We now have one full-time MHAT counselor in every middle and choice school and two full-time MHAT counselors in each of our four comprehensive high schools. We are also beginning to plan for MHAT supports at the Elementary level.
The team evaluates students using a validated universal evaluation tool that includes important indicators of student well-being (conduct, negative affect, cognitive attention, social skills and academic skills). The MHAT aims to increase use of mental health evidence-based practices among Bellevue School District’s school counselors, social workers and psychologists.
Support Resources for Students and Families
Please know that it is important to share your feelings and that there is support for you to do so. Parents, if you or your student has concerns, please contact your school counselor or principal. Please continue to carefully monitor your child for any changes in their routines, words, or behavior. If you have immediate concerns about your student’s well-being, please use these resources:
- 24-hr Suicide Lifeline: 800-273-8255
- 24-hr Crisis Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
- 24-hr Crisis Line: Text ‘HOME’ to 741741
- 24-hr Crisis Line for students of color: Text ‘STEVE’ to 741741
- Counseling at BSD
- Well-Being Resources for Students and Families
- Mental Health Resources for Students and Families
- 24-hour Crisis Line: 866-4-CRISIS (866-427-4747)
- Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741741 (Free, 24/7, confidential)
- TEEN LINK: 866-833-6546 (EVENINGS 6-10pm)
- Crisis Connections
- The Trevor Project: LGBTQ youth suicide prevention & crisis intervention
- Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860 (primarily for transgender people)
- King County Resources
- King County 2-1-1: Dial 2-1-1 or 800-621-4636 (M-F 8am-6pm)
- CCORS- Children’s Crisis Outreach Response System: yfamilyservices.org (206) 382-5340
- Children’s Hospital: Seattle (206) 987-2000
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Dial 1-800-273-8255
- Risk Factors and Warning Signs of Suicide
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Talk Saves Lives VIDEO)
- King County – Suicide Prevention
- American Association of Suicidology
- NPR Article: “6 Myths About Suicide That Every Educator and Parent Should Know”
- Journal Article: Gould MS, Marrocco FA, Kleinman M, et al. Evaluating Iatrogenic Risk of Youth Suicide Screening Programs: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2005;293(13):1635–1643. doi:10.1001/jama.293.13.1635