Suicide Prevention

Every student and every life is valuable. Suicide is ranked as the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24 (American Association of Suicidology). MISD's crisis intervention programs include early mental health intervention and suicide prevention.

Lifeline Program

  • The following information provides excerpts from MISD’s researched-based mental health intervention program, which is called Lifelines, from Hazelden Publishing. Lifelines maintains a 24 hour helpline at 1-800-273-8255. More information can be found at 

    Why Talk About Suicide?

    Third-leading cause of death in adolescents
    Second-leading cause of death among college students
    There are 50 to 200 attempts for every completion
    Over 14% of high school students report suicidal thoughts
    Every year, there are approximately 10 youth suicides for every 100,000 youth
    Every day, there are approximately 11 youth suicides 

    Risk Factors:
    Psychiatric history
    Drug/alcohol abuse
    Previous suicide attempt
    Family history of suicide
    Exposure to another’s suicide
    Experience of stressful life events
    Personality factors
    Access to means

    Warning Signs:
    Suicide ideation
    Substance use
    Feeling trapped
    Mood changes

    Protective Factors that can help reduce these tendencies:

    Personal, behavioral, or situational characteristics that contribute to resiliency and serve as a buffer against risk
    Caring relationship with a trusted adult
    Sense of connection or participation in school
    Positive self-esteem and good coping skills
    Access to care for emotional/physical problems, substance abuse
    Cultural/religious beliefs that discourage suicide and promote self-preservation


Additional Resources

A Look Within Midway

  • In accordance with local policy FFB, MISD has implemented a program for early mental health intervention and suicide prevention for students, which includes training for staff on early warning signs and possible need for intervention. The program also has a curriculum component that is taught at the 8th grade level. Furthermore, policies and procedures have been established, as well as, a reporting system to intervene effectively. If you have concerns regarding your child, please contact your child’s counselor at school.

    Joe Kunkle, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, serves as the district's liaison for the purpose of identifying students who may be in need of mental health intervention. Parents will be notified when their student is possibly in need for mental health intervention, and counseling options will be made available.

    According to the Carnegie Task Force on Education, “School systems are not responsible for meeting every need of their students, but when the need directly affects learning, the school must meet the challenge.” Therefore, MISD has a program that provides an effective initial response to potentially suicidal students and knows where to refer students for additional assistance.

    MISD 8th grade health classes have the following curriculum learning objectives:
    To present relevant facts about suicide
    To alert students to signs of suicide 
    risk in peers and encourage serious responses
    To outline ways to respond to troubled peers
    To demonstrate positive attitudes about intervention and help-seeking behavior
    To identify resource for interventions and supports