February 9, 2016
Dear Brookfield Families,
The Brookfield Central community, as well as the greater Elmbrook community, has experienced a great deal of sadness and loss over the last few months. As a result, we know families have had sensitive conversations about grief and suicide to help their children navigate this difficult time. It is important that we continue to have these conversations in order to raise the awareness of suicide warning signs and risk factors, to identify how students can help themselves or another student in need, and to help students and families identify supports and resources.
One of our initial steps will occur on February 22. During an extended 2nd Block (9:25am-11:29am), the staff will lead a presentation and discussion to help equip students with the knowledge they need in order to help themselves and others. The presentation draws from the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program. This program is used at both Wisconsin Hills Middle School and in 10th grade Health classes at BC. SOS is the only school-based suicide prevention program listed by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) for its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts.
Goals for our presentation and discussion on the 22nd:
- Provide information (on warning signs and risk factors) regarding the identification of serious depression and potential suicidality in themselves or a friend.
- Impress upon students that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns (ACT: Acknowledge, Care, Tell).
- Help students know whom in the school they can turn to for help when needed.
There will be an “exit ticket” after the session. Students will complete the exit ticket if they would like to talk with one of our Student Service Members concerning themselves or a friend.
Please know, we recognize that this presentation may be too difficult for some students at this time. If your child feels he/she is unable to participate, we ask that you let us know, and we will ensure they have an alternate place to go during this time. If you have further questions regarding the upcoming SOS lesson, please contact your student's school counselor.
It has been a difficult few weeks at BC; we will continue to support one another. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help.
Brett J. Gruetzmacher
Principal-Brookfield Central High School