Youth Suicide Prevention, Intervention, & Postvention

Contact Information

Kerry Bloomquist
Behavioral Health & Suicide Prevention Program Supervisor

Christian Stark
Behavioral Health & Suicide Prevention Program Supervisor

OSPI strives to provide resources and support to help inform ESDs, school districts, and schools in the development of Suicide Prevention Plans. Suicide prevention planning informs all adults in schools and communities about how to intervene with a young person exhibiting warning signs for suicide. Intervention at the right time, by the right person, may prevent suicide or calm a crisis!

Crisis Support

988 is the new, three-digit dialing code for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline!

The 988 dialing code connects people via call, text, or chat, to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL). Compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. Call services are available with interpretation services in over 150 languages.


Additional Crisis Support Lines

Warning Signs

School staff have day-to-day contact with many young people, some of whom are experiencing mental distress or illness that could result in feelings of hopelessness that could lead to suicidal behavior. Those who work in schools are well-positioned to observe student behavior and act when they suspect that a student may be at risk of self- harm and/or suicide.

ESD Behavioral Health Navigators

Second Substitute House Bill (2SHB) 1216 (2019–20) funded Behavioral Health Coordinator/Navigator (BHN) positions in all nine of Washington's Educational Service Districts (ESDs) to provide a network of support for school districts to develop and implement comprehensive suicide prevention and behavioral health supports for students.

BHN Contact List



BHN Resources
Confident Action and Referral by Educators (CARE) Online Training

The CARE course is a free, research-backed, web-based course to provide educators and other school staff the tools and confidence to identify students who may be at risk for emotional or behavioral distress, including suicide, substance use, violence, and sexual abuse. CARE will help all school staff understand when and how to intervene and make referrals to counselors and mental health professionals, based on their district’s policy and procedure.

NOTE: The CARE course is migrating to Canvas. Please check back in late September for a link to the new course page.

Anyone can take this course. Counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses can take the course, but it does not meet the course requirement for certification or recertification. Those courses can be found on the Professional Educator Standards Board Website.

NOTE: This online training is not the same as CARE: Suicide Prevention in Washington Schools, which is an ESD-facilitated training that does meet the PESB course requirement for certification or recertification.

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28A.320.127 requires educators receive training on how to recognize and respond to students experiencing emotional or behavioral distress.

Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Planning

The purpose of a prevention plan is to protect the health and well-being of all students by having procedures in place to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to students in crisis.

Guides & Examples

Student/Youth Mental Health Literacy Library

The Student/Youth Mental Health Literacy Library gives any teacher, school counselor or other staff member a comprehensive resource of professionally vetted curricula and school presentations to easily and quickly compare available programs at their fingertips. The site has three very important features. The University of Washington SMART Center has prepared an Implementation Guide Toolkit featured on the site that provides best practices for program implementation.

For Schools

Suicide Postvention

The grief associated with a death by suicide can be quite overwhelming. When a school community experiences a loss by suicide the effects can be felt on various levels. Using protocols that follow model guidance and knowing where to turn for help is critical.

Training for School Professionals

  • The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) maintains the list of approved trainings required for school nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers.

Contact an ESD Prevention Director to find out about their training schedule or see the PESB Website for other training options.

School-based Programming


Medicaid Billing Guide

Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA)


For Families