Culture of Caring

The Importance of School Counselors

School counselors play essential roles in meeting the mental and behavioral health needs of students. To be effective, they track all interactions with students. They understand how knowing the past will help shape the future.

Some schools keep paper records, others use spreadsheets, and some use a whole lot of sticky notes. Whether it is health history, behavior patterns, ACEs, or a current crisis, school mental health professionals need that data to determine how to support students. If a student expresses suicidal ideation, immediate access to mental health records is critical.

The most efficient tool for collecting and analyzing data is a web-based comprehensive school health management system. Here’s how it can help save lives.

A Culture of Caring: A Suicide Prevention Guide for Schools (K-12) was created as a resource for educators who want to know how to get started and what steps to take to create a suicide prevention plan that will work for their schools and districts. It is written from my perspective as a school principal and survivor of suicide loss, not an expert in psychology or counseling. I hope that any teacher, school counselor, psychologist, principal, or district administrator can pick up this book, flip to a chapter, and easily find helpful answers to the questions they are likely to have about what schools can do to prevent suicide.

Theodora Schiro