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Safe and Healthy Schools Center

DIRECTOR: Tracy Herlitzke
Phone: 608-786-4838

NORTH (CESAs #5, #9, #12)
Coordinator: Lynn Verage
Phone: 715-453-2141

WEST (CESAs #4, #10, #11)
Coordinator: Carol Zabel
Phone: 715-720-2145

CENTRAL (CESAs #2, #3, #6)
Coordinator: Jackie Schoening
Phone: 920-236-0515

EAST (CESAs #1, #7, #8)
Coordinator: Christine Kleiman
Phone: 920-465-2139
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April 2013

Safe and Healthy Updates
Suicide Prevention Presentations & Technical Assistance Available


In partnership with the DPI and Mental Health America of Wisconsin's Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant, we are able to offer free trainings in your region before June 30, 2013.


Please contact your WI Safe & Healthy School's Regional Coordinator for more information to train adults or youth in suicide prevention.


Suicide Prevention one hour training=QPR
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer
QPR is a grassroots program specifically designed for everyone. It does not take an expert to prevent suicide - it takes us, everyday people, from a young student, to an elderly grandparent. From a waitperson in the café to a physician or other profession, even our youth can to this; we are all the best means of suicide prevention - and it is not hard to learn.

Question - learning how to see the signs of suicidal thoughts and learning to ask the important question - "Are you thinking about killing yourself?" and listening to the answer without bias
or alarm

Persuade - offering the person hope and alternative solution. Suicide itself is not the problem - it is a perceived only solution by a person in crisis to what they see as an insurmountable problem.

Refer - having the knowledge of how and where to go to help the person get help. "I want you to live, let me help you get help."

What to Tell Children after Losing Someone they Love to Suicide
Submitted by Christine Kleiman, Eastern Regional Coordinator

A child or adolescent may have many mixed emotions after someone they know and loved completes suicide. Our role as adults and educations is to be supportive. Reassure the child whatever feelings they might experience; they have permission to let them out. Don't ever tell them how to feel or to discourage them from showing feelings of anger. 

Common emotions could be:

  • Abandoned-the person who died didn't love them.
  • Feel the death is their fault-if they would have loved the person more or behaved differently.
  • Afraid that they will die too.
  • Worried that someone else they love will die or worry about who will take care of them.
  • Guilt-because they wished or thought of the person's death.
  • Sad.
  • Embarrassed-to see other people or to go back to school.
  • Confused.
  • Angry-at the person who died, at God, at everyone.
  • Lonely.
  • Denial-pretend like nothing happened or with it would all just go away.
  • Numb.

Age is a factor in understanding the type and amount of information to provide. Some children you can talk with using 1 or 2 sentences; others might have continuous questions. Allow children to ask questions and answer with all honesty.

When a child hears that someone died of suicide, one of their first questions might be, "What is suicide?" One can explain that people die in different ways-from cancer, heart attacks, car accidents or old age for example. Suicide simply means that a person caused his or her own death intentionally. If they ask for more detail, use your discretion to help the child understand.

Examples of explaining suicide might be:

  • "He had an illness in his brain or mind and he died."
  • She had an illness called depression and it caused her to die".
  • "Our thoughts and feelings come from our brain, and sometimes a person's brain can get very sick-the sickness can cause a person to feel very bad inside. It also makes a person's thoughts get all jumbled and mixed up. So sometimes they can't think clearly. Some people can't think of any other way of stopping the hurt they feel inside. They don't understand that they don't have to feel that way, that they can get help."

Suggested Reading for Kids

*Bart Speaks Out: Breaking the Silence on Suicide by Linda Goldman, M.S.

*When Dinosaurs Die - A Guide to Understanding Death by Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown

*The Grieving Child: A Parent's Guide by Helen Fitzgerald

*Talking About Death: A Dialogue between Parent & Child by Earl A. Grollman

For more information on talking to children about death and suicide go to www.save.org

Safe School Requirements for May 2013 

Submitted by Carol Zabel, Western Region Coordinator


Remember when the only drills we had to practice were fire and tornado drills? As we approach the May of 2013 requirement from Act 309 for school boards to review their school safety plans, the Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center staff thought this was a good time to remind you of what your plan should include.
As you are doing your safety plan revision keep in mind there is a difference between a safety plan and a crisis plan. A school safety plan shall include general guidelines specifying procedures for emergency prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Your crisis plan may be included within your response section of the safety plan. DPI has compiled a list of resources to assist you with crisis plan creation and revision:  sspw.dpi.wi.gov/sspw_safeschool
Act 309 expands current statutory requirements by providing specific details regarding school safety plans. The Act requires both public and private schools to do all of the following: 
  1. Create a school safety plan with active participation from appropriate parties such as local law enforcement officers, fire fighters, school administrators, teachers, pupil service professionals, and mental health professionals.
  2. Specify the process for reviewing the plan.
  3. Include general guidelines specifying procedures for emergency prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery as well as methods for conducting drills required to comply with the plan.
  4. Determine who shall receive the school safety plan training, which is based upon the school district's prioritized needs, risks, and vulnerabilities.
  5. Drill school safety plan procedures twice a year or substitute a school safety drill for a fire, tornado, or other hazard drill.
  6. Have the school safety plan in place within three years after this Act goes into effect and review it at least once every three years following implementation.
The full text of 2009 ACT 309 is available at:


 DPI Updates
  1. Have you applied for the 2013-2015 AODA Competitive Grant?  AODA grant applications are due in hard copy (original, plus 3 additional copies) to the DPI on Friday, April 19, 2013.  Notification of the results of the competition will be sent to districts in early June.  The grant period runs from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015.  Go to the DPI's SSPW web page for documents to help you write a competitive proposal: http://sspw.dpi.wi.gov/sspw_aodaprog

  2. Suicide Prevention Conference on April 11th at Holiday Inn in Stevens Point. Registration available:  http://www.preventsuicidewi.org/registration-communities-in-action.aspx
  3. Best Practices in Physical Education and Health 2013 hold the date for July 24-25th with a preconference on July 23rd.  More information go to
Bullying Prevention

Mental Health

Drug Prevention

Good Drugs Gone Bad


Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals (DITEP)**


**One Graduate Credit Option Available
For more information on any of the trainings go to our website at www.wishschools.org
Wisconsin Safe & Healthy Schools Center | 608-786-4838 | therlitzke@cesa4.k12.wi.us | http://www.wishschools.org
923 East Garland Street
West Salem, WI 54669

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