Staff of Springs’ Keys program for grades 9-12 participated in a suicide prevention program offered by the Matthew Silverman Memorial Foundation on August 14.
Its purpose was to help staff recognize the signs that a student may be suicidal so that they may help that student get needed help. Catherine Hanson, KEYS program director, explained, “If they recognize the signs, I don’t want the staff to be afraid to talk about this subject with our students, and that they know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to discuss.”
The training was offered free of charge by the foundation. Its founder is Ron Silverman, who named the foundation in honor of his son Matthew, who took his own life in 2006. Additionally, in 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 2246, which requires public schools to adopt pupil suicide prevention policies. Springs’ Board of Directors approved a Suicide Prevention Policy at its August meeting.
Springs staff is considering bring the training program to other Springs sites. Ms. Hanson concluded, “It is our goal to do what we can to help our students have good mental health.”