CONNECTION AND RELATIONAL ENGAGEMENT IN A YOUTH SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM
AbstractVancouver Island Crisis Society has developed a unique approach to suicide prevention for youth and is encouraged to observe the positive impact these programs have had in the lives of students and on school communities as a result. This is the story of the evolution of two such school-based suicide prevention programs: (a) GRASP (Growth, Resilience, Acknowledgement, Suicide, Awareness, Personal Safe Planning); and (b) Speak Out, Reach Out, Help Out. While suicidal despair often thrives in isolation, what power might human connection have to combat it? And could that sense of connection be interwoven into youth suicide prevention programs, not to diminish what is already there but to enrich and enliven current best practices, and research-based information? Throughout this article, I will uncover the possibilities of what can emerge when practice is informed by the professional literature and a purposeful intent to create a sense of connection and relational engagement.
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