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Divisions > Student, Family, and School Support > Student Services and Alternative Programs > Suicide Prevention
Youth Suicide Prevention School Program


Research is clear that there is an inextricable link between students' emotional and mental health and their ability to learn. A student is not able to benefit from the educational program if the student is suicidal or if the student is preoccupied by concerns about someone who may be thinking about suicide. Few events have greater impact than suicide upon students, parents, and staff. The Student Services and Alternative Programs Branch staff is committed to providing technical assistance about effective youth suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention (i.e., support and assistance for those affected by a completed suicide.)

Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States and in Maryland. According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide continues to be the third leading cause of death for youth in the United States and in Maryland. During 2004, Maryland lost 86 youth due to suicide. The results of the 2005 Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) indicate that more than one in ten Maryland high school students reported making a plan to commit suicide in the past twelve moths. The data demonstrate the importance of the statewide Youth Suicide Prevention School Program established in the Annotated Code of Maryland §7-503.

The Maryland program establishes a shared responsibility between educational programs at the State and local levels and community suicide prevention and crisis center agencies. The statewide program includes:

  • Classroom instruction about warning signs of suicide and suicide prevention strategies
  • Maryland Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009 and local suicide and crisis hotlines
  • Suicide intervention and postvention
  • Data collection
  • Teacher training

Contact Information
Richard D. Scott, D.Min., M.Ed, LCPC
School Counseling Specialist
Student Services and Alternative Programs Branch
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0288
Fax:  410-333-8148
Email:  rscott@msde.state.md.us
 Local Contacts
List of Local Education Agency Youth Suicide Prevention Points of Contact
 Related Sites and Resources
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Psychological Association
Columbia University TeenScreen Program
Maryland Suicide and Crisis Hotlines
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Association of School Psychologists
SOS Signs of Suicide
Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program
Mental Health Association of Maryland
 PowerPoint Presentations
Youth Suicide Prevention School Program
Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Health Education
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