Directing Change

For Schools

Click here to request educational resources and a prevention program for your high school.

Much of the following information is intended for the high school setting however there is also useful information for higher education institutions.

University of California faculty, staff or administrators

Please visit the UC Student Mental health website to learn more about system wide mental health efforts.

Suicide Prevention Programs and Resources

Kognito At-Risk Program fulfills California’s Jason Flatt Act legislation for suicide prevention training for K-12 teachers. It is listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s best practices registry and the National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices. The online program that lets you learn about psychological distress and build your skill by talking with virtual students and connecting them to support. This innovative tool is licensed for your use through funding from CalMHSA’s K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative.

This training is FREE until June 30, 2015. It can be completed at your leisure, at home or at school, at one time or in multiple sittings. It takes from 50 minutes to an hour to complete the entire training, but you can refresh your knowledge by replaying one of the three role-play conversations. The Peer to Peer version for high schools will also be available for free from February 2015 to 2016.

Suicide Prevention: A Toolkit for Schools:  This publication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was created to assist high schools and school districts in designing and implementing strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health. It includes tools to implement a multi-faceted suicide prevention program that responds to the needs and cultures of students

Intervening with Suicidal Youth:  Developed by the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Youth Suicide Prevention Project, this document provides a information on assessment for suicidal youth in a school setting.

Suicide Prevention Program Overview (for high school and higher education): This document provides a list of, and links to, suicide prevention programs and resources registered on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s (SPRC) Best Practices Registry, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Model School District Policy for Suicide Prevention: Reducing the risk of youth suicide requires making positive changes. To help make it easier for schools to prevent, assess, intervene in, and respond to suicidal behavior, The Trevor Project has collaborated to create a Model School District Policy for Suicide Prevention. This modular, adaptable document will help educators and school administrators implement comprehensive suicide prevention policies in communities nationwide. Download our fact sheet and full policy today – by adopting or advocating for this model policy in your school district, you can help protect the health and safety of all students.  This model policy was created in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists.

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools:  This toolkit is designed to assist schools in the aftermath of a suicide (or other death) in the school community. It is meant to serve as a practical resource for schools facing real-time crises to help them determine what to do, when, and how. The toolkit reflects consensus recommendations developed in consultation with a diverse group of national experts, including school-based personnel, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals. It incorporates relevant existing material and research findings as well as references, templates, and links to additional information and assistance.

Mental Health Programs and Resources

NAMI California: is a grass roots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness. We advocate for lives of quality and respect, without discrimination and stigma, for all our constituents. We provide leadership in advocacy, legislation, policy development, education and support throughout California. There are people all over this state who care about you and want to help those experiencing symptoms of mental illness. Go to to look for an affiliate in your community.

  • Ending the Silence Program: Ending the Silence (ETS) is a mental health education and stigma reduction program designed specifically for high school and young adult audiences. ETS provides accurate information on mental illness and discusses the mental health continuum as something we all experience. The trained two person team provided education and personal testimony from a young person living well with a mental health condition.
  • Parents and Teachers as Allies is a free, one to two hour in‐service program that focuses on helping school professionals and families within the school community better understand the early warning signs of mental illnesses in children and adolescents. For more information, contact Kelly Boyles at or 916-567-0163
  • NAMI on Campus is a peer led club for college students to raise awareness of mental health and wellness in order to empower them to take action on their college campuses. For more information, contact Kelly Boyles at or 916-567-0163
  • NAMI on Campus High School (NCHS) is an adaptation of the college program, and is being pilot-tested in 2014 through a partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Placer County Office of Education (PCOE). NCHS is a peer led club for college students to raise awareness of mental health and wellness in order to empower them to take action on their high school campuses. For more information, contact Kelly Boyles at or 916-567-0163

Educational Information and Resources

  • Directing Change PowerPoint Presentation: This brief presentation is intended to be reviewed by an adult advisor on campus and then shared with students. It is not intended to take the place of a comprehensive suicide prevention or mental health program; instead it offers a brief overview of suicide prevention and mental health as well as details about the contest.
  • Educational Videos: The educational videos are films produced by some of the Directing Change Team that discuss various mental health and suicide prevention topics. Its purpose is to provide more information to students and teachers that will help inspire the filmmaking process. One video will be released each month and will be archived for future use and training purposes.
If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately: 1-800-273-8255This is a free 24-hour hotline.
The contest is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
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