Sheridan Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Derek Arrowood has announced that his district will implement Lifelines, the national youth suicide prevention program Chaucie’s Place introduced to Hamilton County schools this school year. Sheridan is the first school district in Hamilton County to address youth suicide prevention so proactively by partnering with Chaucie’s Place on Lifelines.
“At Sheridan Community Schools student safety is a priority, and that means we consistently put forth 110 percent effort at keeping our administration and staff trained on child protection issues,” said Arrowood. “Our partnership with Chaucie’s Place has provided our staff with multiple opportunities to become more knowledgeable about how to best protect Sheridan’s children while they are in our care. The Lifelines program will allow our staff to be more adept at recognizing when a student is at potential risk of suicide and understand how and where to access help.”
Lifelines is a national, evidence-based youth suicide prevention program that targets the entire school community. The prevention program has four sequential segments that include helping the administration create or fine-tune policies and procedures regarding suicide prevention and suicide response; school faculty and staff training on their critical, but limited, role in identifying and responding to suicidal behavior; a parent workshop that outlines basic information of youth suicide and its warning signs, as well as available community resources; and lastly, a curriculum for eighth through 10th grade students that covers facts about suicide and the students’ role in suicide prevention. The lessons teach students relevant facts about suicide, how to recognize the threat of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and how to respond to troubled peers.
“Chaucie’s Place is very well known and respected for our child sexual abuse prevention programs for both children and adults, but we introduced Lifelines youth suicide prevention program, because of the high correlation between child sexual abuse and youth suicide. And, of course, because of our legacy with Chaucie Quillen,” said Toby Stark, Chaucie’s Place executive director. “We applaud Dr. Arrowood for addressing this issue so proactively; it says a great deal about his commitment to child protection.”
Chaucie’s Place also offers two child sexual abuse prevention programs: Body Safety, where Chaucie’s Place staff and volunteers teach elementary school children their bodies belong to them, they have the right to say “NO!” to any unwanted touches, and to tell an adult about any touches that make them uncomfortable. In the last school year alone, Chaucie’s Place staff and volunteers reached more than 9,200 students with these important messages.
And, Stewards of Children® a national evidence-based child sexual abuse prevention program for parents and any adults who work with children. This program teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and respond appropriately to a disclosure of abuse. Since becoming authorized facilitators nearly three years ago, Chaucie’s Place staff has trained nearly 900 adults.
In addition to implementing the Lifelines program district-wide, Sheridan elementary school children receive the Body Safety program and all Sheridan administration and staff will be trained in Stewards of Children by the end of this school year.