On the final day of the school year for teachers, Colonial Middle School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School set aside dedicated time for secondary staff to take part in online training that outlines the risk factors and warning signs of suicide.
"It validates what we already knew but puts it into some interesting statistics and offers sequential steps as to what to do if you feel there is somebody at risk," explained Colonial Middle School Teacher Carissa Eberle.
The online training module was developed by Dr. Terri Erbacher, author and Clinical Associate Professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Thanks to a grant from the CCRES Foundation, Dr. Erbacher visited Colonial School District earlier this year for a full day of training with the Crisis Response Teams from all seven schools, where they went more in-depth about screening students who may be in crisis and making the appropriate referrals to give students access to mental health services. The Crisis Response Teams include guidance counselors, school psychologists, nurses, administrators and select teachers.
The $2500 cost of the online training came from the Colonial School District Education Foundation through a donation by Tom and Linda Doll with a matching gift from Subaru of America, Inc.