A Podcast By The Fort Zumwalt School District

ESP: Our Suicide Awareness Initiative

Season 1, Episodes 10, 11, and 12

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Educate. Support. Prevent.

These are the focal points of Fort Zumwalt School District’s suicide awareness and prevention initiative, work that has been ongoing in our schools for more than 20 years. In this three-part conversation we sit down with experts who work in our schools with our students and our staff to shed light on what this program looks like and why it’s critical in our schools.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people in America. We’ve broken out some key terms and resources for you below, but please don’t hesitate to send us your questions. Just call (636) 362-4271 and leave a voice mail. We’ll do follow-up episodes to ensure we are all as informed as we can be.


Subscribe on your favorite podcast catching app, or listen here using this YouTube player:

NOTE: There are 3 episodes to view here… All three videos are posted on this page:

Part 1: Educate

Part 2: Support

Part 3: Prevent

RESOURCES and LINKS from this episode

What is the lethality (risk) assessment? While the lethality assessment is a form, it is, more importantly the procedure that is set into motion when there is a concern a student might be at risk of self harm and/or suicidal thoughts/ideations. Once a concern is brought to a member of the Crisis Response Team (CRT), a school counselor, crisis and prevention counselor, and/or school administrator will begin the assessment process.  Following an assessment, school officials can connect with parents, provide a list of ancillary services in our area and work together to create a wellness and safety plan that is in the best interests of the student.

What is the chain of custody? When there is a concern a student is at risk of self harm, school officials work within their risk assessment process, all the while making sure that the student remains with a trusted individual at school and then are with him/her when custody is taken by a parent and/or guardian.  

What is a CRT? A Crisis Response Team (CRT) is in place in every Fort Zumwalt school.  This team of counselors, teachers and administrators is trained to work with students in crisis or suffering trauma. This might mean working with a student who is grieving, or who’s family is going through a financial crisis or who is at risk of self harm or suicide.

What is the difference between a school counselor and a Crisis and Prevention Counselor? In Fort Zumwalt, our Crisis and Prevention Counselors are in place at all of our middle and high schools, and are available to the elementary schools close by. They hold a Master’s degree in Social Work, and many of them have additional certificates, licensing, and training in the area of social services to provide students and staff with mental wellness supports.  

Behavioral Health Response (BRH) is a regional agency that provides confidential telephone counseling to people in mental health crises as well as mobile outreach services, community referral services and critical incident stress management Hotline and mobile outreach services are provided free of charge to the public by paid professional staff who have masters degrees in their respective behavioral science disciplines.

When you visit their website, clicking the “Get Support Now” button takes you to a screen where you can type in your zip code and find the services closest to you.

Community Children’s Resource Board (CCRB) is a St. Charles County organization that works to connect families with resources for mental health and substance use treatment services.

Kids Under Twenty One (KUTO) toll-free phone line 1-888-644-5886 is open after 4 p.m. daily and is staffed by trained youth volunteers.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers resources and support for those in crisis and the people who care about them. Connect with the helpline at 800-950-6264 or text NAMI to 741741. There are also numbers for those facing specific crises, such as suicide, domestic abuse or sexual assault. Access NAMI list of helpline numbers

The Fort Zumwalt Safeline is not a suicide hotline. Fort Zumwalt provides the Safeline to assist our families and students in reporting the following: Safety of students or staff; Sexual harassment or bullying; Physical or sexual abuse; Suspected Drug or Alcohol abuse, distribution or sale

This “Safeline” is manned by a district Crisis Counselor between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and may be utilized by anyone needing to share urgent information. A message left on voicemail will be returned ASAP. If immediate assistance is needed, please call 911.

Please utilize these for the reporting of vital information only. Routine school questions should be directed to the school building phones during their regularly scheduled office hours.

It is, however, a place parents can contact should they have urgent information concerning:

Call or text the Safeline at 314-941-0331.

Find it in the Parents or Students sections of our website.

Find it on our app just by clicking the menu bar at the top. It is the second item on the list and will take you to the main website, as will the link above, where you can also find a list of other resources.