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.
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
- A 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
- http://www.sptsusa.org/parents/talking-to-your-kid-about-suicide/ site linked here
- The National Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Parents for Megan's Law and The Crime Victims Center
The National Megan's Law Helpline (888) ASK-PFML (888) 275-7365, is available to provide support to communities: on issues related to accessing sex offender registration information; responsible use of information; sexual abuse prevention resources; and accessing crime victim support services. Parents for Megan's Law (PFML) staff provide assistance to the community in accessing their state sex offender registries and prevention specialists provide support to parents and community members to assist in their sexual abuse prevention education strategies. Certified rape crisis counselors are available to support all victims of violent crime and to provide geographically appropriate referrals.
The Sex Offender Registration Tips Program provides the public an opportunity to report registrants who are failing to comply with registration requirements, employment or supervision restrictions or who are in positions of trust where they can access children. Tips can be provided via the Helpline or website at www.parentsformeganslaw.org site linked here. This program is not intended to be used to report police emergencies. Dial 911 or contact your local law enforcement agency directly for emergencies. Agency deputized staff work collaboratively with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to facilitate the appropriate follow-up action.
Parents for Megan's Law (PFML) is a 501(c) 3 not for profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse and provision of services to all victims of violent crime. The organization staffs the U.S. Justice Department-funded National Megan's Law Helpline and Sex Offender Registration Tips Program (SORT). The organization is also a certified Rape Crisis Center and operates a Crime Victims Center providing services to all victims of violent crime.
The federal McKinney-Vento Act guarantees school enrollment for anyone who, due to a lack of permanent housing, lives in inadequate or temporary settings, such as:
- In emergency or transitional shelters
- In motels, hotel, or campgrounds,
- In cars, parks or public places
- Doubled up with relatives or friends
- In these conditions and is a migratory child or youth
The Homeless Education Liaison for Powhatan County Schools is Katie Wojcicki and may be reached at 598-5700.
Foster Care Liaison
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections) and the Title I, Part A provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ensure school stability for students in foster care. The Foster Care liaison for Powhatan County Schools is Katie Wojcicki. For more information, please contact her at 804-598-5700 or Katie.Wojcicki@powhatan.k12.va.us.