SPS to Share Suicide Prevention Project

SPS to Share Suicide Prevention Project
Posted on 07/09/2018

Ahead of the Curve and Sharing the Story …


Suffolk Public Schools has been selected to share its new teen mental wellness program at the Virginia School Board Association's (VSBA) Conference on Education, to be held in Richmond on Tuesday, July 17.  Dr. Suzanne Rice, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, will present a workshop on how the division embraced its unique position to start the conversation about teen depression just months after a student death due to suicide. 

Because of a new partnership with the Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation, trained facilitators made 92 presentation for students, staff, parents and community members, touching the lives of almost 2,500 people. The video “More Than Sad,” developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, formed the basis of the discussions.

Suffolk Public Schools was a step ahead of recent legislative changes – because it quickly responded to the needs of the students, staff and community it serves. Virginia is now one of only two states that will require mental health education in public schools, after the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation this year. The legislation, sponsored Sen. Creigh Deeds, calls for the Virginia Board of Education to build mental health education into the 9th and 10th grade health and physical education curriculum for Virginia public school students.

The 33rd Annual VSBA Conference on Education invites hundreds of school division leaders from across the state to learn about successful programs that might also work in their schools. Workshop categories include administration, personnel & finance, curriculum & instruction, partnerships, school/community relations, school law, special programs, STEM, virtual/blended learning, and workforce readiness. 

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