Saturday, February 10, 2007

School Psychologists and Suicide

One of my students contacted me this morning and was quite upset about a problem she was facing.

She had dealt with a child who was evidencing suicidal ideation, and she told her principal and AP about it (her supervisor was out sick). Her administration told her to ignore it. She didn't. She spoke to her supervisor and they agreed that they needed to report this.

She called the parents of the child and arranged for a hospital visit. Her administration was not amused. They apparently threatened to "get them in trouble".

I told her that this was a common reaction of administrators when school psychologists do things that are not in their control. According to the NASP Ethics Code: "School psychologists are committed to the application of their professional expertise for the purpose of promoting improvement in the quality of life for children, their families, and the school community." This child obviously did not have a good quality of life, and, her actions were an attempt to make that better.

Good job, I say. For further information, check out the NASP reprint of an article in the communique discussing what can be done for children who are suicidal.

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