Suicide Prevention

The Jason Foundation

The Jason Foundation has been adopted as the main curriculum used in Midway ISD’s overall suicide prevention programing. The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide through educational and awareness programs that equip young people, educators/youth workers and parents with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth. More information can be accessed on their website: The Jason Foundation, Inc.  

If you are experiencing a crisis, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “Jason” to 741741.

Why talking about suicide is important:

  • For middle and high school age youth (ages 12-18), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death. (2011 CDC WISQARS)
  • For college age youth (ages 18-22), suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death. (2011 CDC WISQARS)
  • Over-all, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for our youth ages 10-24. (2011 CDC WISQARS)
  • Each week in our nation, we lose approximately 100+ young people to the national health problem of suicide.
  • 2013 - CDC Youth Risk Behavioral Survey:
    • Over One out of Six of our nation’s youth (17%) seriously considered suicide in theprevious twelve months.
    • Almost One out of Seven young people (13.6%) actually made a plan to attempt suicide in the previous twelve months.
    • Over One out of Every Thirteen young people (8%) reported attempting suicide one or more times in the past twelve months.
  • Firearms remain the most commonly used suicide method. Suffocation / hanging and poisoning have seen dramatic increases recently.
  • Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.
  • More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have demonstrated risk factors such as depression, other mental disorders or a substance-abuse disorder (often in combination with other mental disorders).
  • Suicide is one of the LEADING causes of PREVENTABLE death in our nation today.


Warning Signs

Suicidal threats

Direct (e.g. “I want to die.”)

Indirect (“I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up.”)

Suicide notes, plans, online postings.

Making final arrangements.

Preoccupation with death.

Giving away prized possessions.

Dramatic change in mood (including sudden change from depression to apparent happiness.)

Talking about death.

Increased risk taking.

Heavy drug/alcohol use.

Seeking access to pills, weapons, or other lethal means.

Having rage, anger, or seeking revenge.

Withdrawing from friends, family, or society.



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 and coordinates with campus counselors in the case of 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