Departments‎ > ‎Pupil Personnel‎ > ‎

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people from the ages of 10-24.  Powhatan County Public Schools has adopted suicide prevention guidelines which are included as part of our Crisis Management Plan.


Warning Signs

Seeking Help

The American Psychiatric Association recommends that parents seek professional help if their child experiences serious mood changes in which the duration is longer than a couple of weeks.  Some of the identified warnings are as follows:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family,
  • Inability to concentrate,
  • Talk of suicide,
  • Dramatic change in personal appearance,
  • Expressions of hopelessness or excessive guilt,
  • Self-destructive behavior (examples: reckless driving, drug abuse, and promiscuity),
  • Preoccupation with death, and
  • Bequeathing favorite possessions.


Further warning signs include:

  • Impulsivity such as violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away,
  • Inappropriate responses (e.g., rejection) to praise or reward,
  • Frequent complaints of physical symptoms such as headaches and fatigues,
  • Verbal hints in statements such as:  “I won’t be a problem for you much longer” or I won’t see you again.”


(American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1997)


Information for Parents-Talking to Your Child About Suicide


The National Suicide hotline:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)