Health Care Social Services

School officials receive after- suicide training

Written by Mindia Whittier

The hosting organization works to help remove the stigma of mental illness.

The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation (JEHF) hosted What to Do After a Suicide Postvention conference on March 25. The event was specifically designed for Texas school administrators, counselors, psychologists, school resource officers, mental health partners, and other school or district staff members involved in suicide postvention.

JEHF is a nonprofit providing suicide prevention training and education services in North Texas. It was created after the 2012 suicide of Jordan Harris, a young woman from North Richland Hills who was in her senior year at the University of Michigan. Harris was high school valedictorian, a National Merit Scholarship winner, a tireless volunteer, and a compassionate champion of those less fortunate. She suffered from a brief bout of depression and ended her life without warning, leaving her family and friends to wonder if they could have done more to save her life.

At the conference, Dr. Gregory Hudnall, Founder of Hope Squad, discussed the latest research and information on youth suicide and provided suggestions on how to best respond to a school crisis. Dr. Hudnall has trained over 60,000 individuals in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. He has been the “Team Leader” of a state-wide crisis team for over fifteen years.

Conference attendees received guidance on topics such as home visits to victim families, steps to handle the school-day after a suicide, dealing with social media, how to handle the funeral and on-going survivor grief. Small group role plays helped participants learn and apply many postvention techniques. CEU’s were provided.

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Mindia Whittier