With suicide rates that are 58% higher than the national average, youth behavioral health is of particular importance in Idaho. Since this issue touches so many educational institutions, students, and families every year in the region, Nampa School District recognized the need to help its students successfully balance the demands of a good education with healthy behaviors.
“For years, we’ve been addressing the problem and coming up with different ways to handle it,” said the district’s Director of Communications and Community Relations, Kathleen Tuck. “In our area, certain school districts have experienced multiple suicides within a year’s time, so it’s something we’re very aware of.”
Focused on a multisector, multifaceted approach, the district learned about the Gaggle student safety platform and was instantly interested in learning more. Now in place for two years, the Gaggle platform helps the district identify students who might be in need of help. “Our counselors and teachers are all trained on what to look for and have intercepted several communications and secured help for the students who were involved,” Tuck explained.
The district also launched a suicide prevention training program that’s focused on ensuring everyone in the district knows the signs to watch for and how to successfully intervene as needed. In addition, the district turned to the community for buy-in on these and other behavioral health-related efforts. “We’re all one here,” said Tuck, “so what happens in our schools is really an issue for the whole community.”
Knowing the risks that students in this region face, the district is being proactive when it comes to preventing suicides, self-harm, violence against others, and other tragic events. “We decided that we’re not just going to sit back and let this happen,” stated Tuck. “We’re going to figure out a way to deal with it effectively.” Read our case study to learn more about how Nampa School District implemented a more rigorous approach to student safety.