Because of the demands created by the COVID 19 pandemic to avoid in person trainings, CHL and the Vermont Suciide Prevention Center has moved our Umatter® for Schools training to an entirely online format!
CHL developed and implemented Umatter, a national best practice program and public information campaign for suicide prevention that promotes mental health, teaches self-care, risk assessment, coping and help-seeking skills. Umatter for Schools provides school teams with the knowledge and skills to develop a comprehensive, asset-based approach to suicide prevention at their school including Gatekeeper training, staff and parent awareness training, prevention and postvention protocol development and Lifelines curriculum training for implementation in grades 7-12.
The newly designed Umatter for Schools online training consists of 3-4 Zoom meetings and coursework over 6 weeks. Schools are encouraged to send teams with a minimum of two people consisting of a guidance counselor, nurse, health educator, mental health provider, and/or administrator as well as at least one decision maker. Schools who have sent teams in the past are encouraged to send newly hired or assigned staff to support mental health and suicide prevention strategies in the school.
Here's what one former trainee has said about Umatter for Schools:
My initial connection with CHL was as a participant in the Umatter for Schools. [Our school] sent a team of participants including administrators, security personnel, a school counselor, student assistance program coordinator and social worker to learn about early warning signs, risk factors, best practice. The two-day workshop also had school teams begin to design suicide protocols to clearly delineate each school’s response to a student experiencing suicidality. [Our school] had never considered developing a protocol for suicide prior to this workshop and the Chair of the Counseling Department, Student Assistance Program Coordinator, and I were tasked to complete one during a school in-service day. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this document. It is referred to and followed every time a … student exhibits suicidal thinking, which happens on a regular basis. I have personally trained our staff … on how to use the protocol, including educating staff on warning signs and risk factors.
Umatter for Schools online will offer sessions in fall 2020 and spring 2021. It's challenging for everyone to offer supportive services for students, but we are happy to rise to the challenge and are honored to work with educational communities that are doing so as well.
Please donate to help us continue this important work!Attachments: