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The SDUHSD Governing Board recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among youth worldwide, with complex contributing factors. The possibility of suicide requires vigilant attention from our school community. The board adopted a policy and administrative regulation, 5141.52 Suicide Prevention, based on model policies in prevention, intervention, and postvention. Along with the community and families, we work to create safe and nurturing campuses and work as partners with families to build protective factors such as connection, coping skills and resilience in students and to increase help-seeking from adults.
What are Protective Factors?

What are Protective Factors?

A protective factor is a characteristic or attribute that reduces the likelihood of attempting or completing suicide. Protective factors are skills, strengths, or resources that can be learned and that help people deal more effectively with stressful events and help to counterbalance risk factors. Increasing protective factors can serve to decrease suicide risk. Strengthening these factors should be an ongoing process to increase resilience during the presence of increased risk factors or other stressful situations. 

Protective Factors to Build



  • Social skills - decision-making, problem-solving, and anger management
  • Good health and access to mental and physical health care
  • Strong connections to friends and family as well as supportive significant others
  • Cultural, religious, or spiritual beliefs that discourage suicide
  • A healthy fear of risky behaviors and pain
  • Hope for the future—optimism
  • Sobriety
  • Medical compliance and a sense of the importance of health and wellness
  • Impulse control
  • Strong sense of self-worth or self-esteem
  • Sense of personal control or determination
  • Attitudes, values, and norms prohibiting suicide - strong beliefs about the meaning and value of life
  • Access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for seeking help
  • Coping skills and resiliency
  • Clear reasons for living


  • Strong relationships, particularly with family members
  • Opportunities to participate in and contribute to school or community projects and activities
  • A reasonably safe and stable environment
  • Access to resources
  • Restricted access to lethal means
  • Responsibilities and duties to others
  • Having pets


We are all responsible for providing an appropriate and timely response to prevent suicidal thoughts, attempts, and deaths. As per AB 2246, the district Suicide Prevention Policy is followed by all schools to protect the health and safety of students in the school setting and to ensure adequate support for students, staff, and families affected by suicide attempts and loss. The policy is based on research and best practices in suicide prevention. It was adopted with the understanding that suicide prevention activities increase help-seeking behavior, decrease suicide risks, identify those at risk of suicide, and decrease suicidal behaviors. The law requires public schools to "address the needs of high-risk groups, including, but not limited to, all of the following: (A) Youth bereaved by suicide. (B) Youth with disabilities, mental illness, or substance use disorders. (C) Youth experiencing homelessness or in out-of-home settings, such as foster care. (D) Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning youth."
Evidence refutes a common belief that talking about suicide can increase risk or place the idea in someone's mind. 
All school staff and student ID cards contain the National Suicide Prevention Line, crisis text line, and site contacts for use in an urgent situation. If you have an urgent/immediate concern about a student, please call 911. Please contact the child's school counselor for assistance if you have non-urgent concerns. 

Overall Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention To ensure the policies regarding suicide prevention are properly implemented and updated, the Director of School and Student Services serves as the suicide prevention point of contact for the district. In addition, each school shall identify at least one staff member to serve as the liaison to the Director responsible for coordinating and implementing suicide prevention activities on their specific campus.
School and District Contacts
 Canyon Crest Academy  858-350-0253   Brett Killeen
 Carmel Valley Middle School  858-481-8221  Victoria Kim
 Diegueño Middle School  760-944-3717  Celeste Barnette
 Earl Warren Middle School    858-755-1558  Erica Williams
 La Costa Canyon High School  760-436-6136  Brenda Robinette
 Oak Crest Middle School   760-753-6241  Kathryn Friedrichs
 Pacific Trails Middle School  858-509-1000  Kathryn Freeman
 San Dieguito Academy High School   760-753-1121  Jaime Garman
 Sunset High School   760-753-3860  Rick Ayala
 Torrey Pines High School   858-755-0125  Robert Shockney
 SDUHSD District Office     760-753-6491 Tiffany Hazlewood; Melissa Sage 
For further mental health support, SDUHSD partners with CareSolace, a confidential online resource with a live 24/7 concierge line (888) 515-0595 meant to assist individuals in finding local mental health-related programs and counseling services. To use Care Solace, individuals answer ten basic questions in order to receive an extensive list of referrals to applicable care providers. Care Solace takes into account all types of private insurance including Medi-Cal, Medicaid, and Medicare and those that have no insurance. The system also filters by age, gender, zip code, and special request. Care Solace is available for use by San Dieguito families at no cost. Please note, this service is an optional resource available by choice. Care Solace does not require a user’s name, address, phone number, or date of birth. All of the information that is entered on their platform is completely confidential and stored securely. 


Know the Signs - risk factors, warning signs & what to do
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If you or someone that you know is experiencing a crisis, call 9-1-1 or the San Diego Access & Crisis Line Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT): (888) 724-7240
-Child Protective Services 858-560-2191/800-344-6000
-Emergency Screening Unit (ESU) 619-876-4502