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PTSA Suicide Prevention Support and Resources


Our nation’s suicide rate among high school and middle school students has increased significantly over the last several years and decades**.  The Shorewood PTSA endeavors to educate families, staff and students about the warning signs of students in mental states that lead to suicide ideation, attempts and completions.  Our work with Suicide Prevention is guided by the WA State PTA resolution 2.13 Youth Suicide Prevention


It takes a village to raise a child, at Shorewood our youth’s health and well-being is a top priority.  Forefront in School's suicide prevention program is a partnership with the University of Washington, and started in the Shoreline School District high schools the fall of 2017.  The program includes training for all school community members, creation or expansion of crisis protocols, social/emotional learning support and more. ​

  • Suicide among youth is a serious public health, mental health and community-based problem. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death in Washington State for youth ages 10-24. Twice as many young people die by suicide than by homicide in Washington State and we lose two youth to suicide each week on average. The suicide rate in Washington State has been increasing steadily since 2006.

  • Shoreline high schools have elected to participate in a 3-year cohort of 16 area schools with Forefront, an organization connected with the University of Washington and a leader in suicide prevention and education. Forefront in the Schools (FIS) will assist us in a comprehensive review, developing systematic supports and providing community education promoting mental health and suicide prevention.

  • The FIS program uses a “train the trainer” model for students, parents, faculty, and staff to help prevent suicide. This reduces the stigma of mental illness and makes schools safer, more welcoming, healthier environments where everyone can thrive. The program also supports policy enhancement, social/emotional learning, and leadership opportunities for students and builds community by engaging leadership across groups because everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention.


Components of the FIS model include:

  • Multi‐disciplinary teams of 6‐8 members from each school, comprised of parents, students, teachers, administrators and school counselors. Monthly meetings over 3 school years.  

  • A cohort model that includes shared learning and support to do this life‐saving work.

Forefront’s LEARN™ curriculum:

  • 90‐minute training by parents for parents.

  • 90‐minute training by teachers for teachers.

  • 1‐day fall academy for all teams each year.

  • Extensive revisions to, or creation of, suicide prevention, intervention, assessment, re‐entry, and recovery procedures.

  • Enhanced linkages with mental health referral network.

  • Teacher and student led training and mental health promotion week.

  • Half‐day end‐of‐year meeting for all teams each year.

For more information, email


During the 2020-21 school year, the Shorewood PTSA co-sponsored a guest speaker event (“An Evening with JC Pohl”) on March 25, 2021.  He spoke of several ways to build up and support our kids with his five keys to building resiliency:

  • One Charismatic Adult.  It's important for each child to have at least one charismatic adult in their lives.  This usually is not a parent.  It tends to be teachers, relatives, or community members with whom they interact. 

  • A True Connection.  While social media enables people to connect peripherally, true and meaningful connections are formed through one-on-one interactions with those around us or with whom we share a common bond.

  • Solution Focused Thinking.  We all have complaints and problems.  Creating a sense of agency in our young people is a powerful tool when encouraging them to think and act independently.  One way to help teenagers through problems is to phrase sentences starting with "I wonder":

    • I wonder what would happen if you tried...

    • I wonder if you could do ... differently.

    • I wonder how you could make a difference there …

  • Self-efficacy.  This is a child's ability to bounce back after hardships and breakdowns.  It usually includes a strong sense of self that they can rely upon when trying to grapple with the difficult things in life.

  • Making sure teens know they are not alone.  Life does bring along occasional disappointments, stress and anxiety for each of us.  And we all have relational needs.  Guiding our teens through the process of healthy thinking and behaviors will increase their chances of positive outcomes and “bounce-backs” when tough moments occur.  One way to do this is to acknowledge kids for their feelings rather than just their achievements in life.


The link to the recording of this event is here.



Shoreline Council PTA Mental Health Committee Resource list


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  (800) 273-8255  (English)

(888) 628-9454  (Spanish)



Crisis Connections:  (866) 427-4747 (King County)

Teen Link:  (866) 833-6546 (6-10 p.m.) or text "TEEN" to 839863 between 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. PST

Crisis Text Line:  Text “HEAL” to 741741



Trans Lifeline:  (877) 565-8860 (English)

 (877) 565-8660 (Spanish)


UW Forefront:

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

** Our nation's suicide rate among young people (10 - 24 years of age) has increased 57.4% between 2007 to 2018, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services/CDC.

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