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San Dieguito Union High School District

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2020-21 Information

Suicide Prevention

The Governing Board of San Dieguito Union High School District recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among youth with complex contributing factors. The possibility of suicide requires vigilant attention from our school staff. 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.

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.



  • Attitudes, values, and norms prohibiting suicide, e.g., strong beliefs about the meaning and value of life
  • Social skills, e.g., 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
  • Access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for seeking help
  • Coping skills
  • Resiliency
  • Reasons for living
  • Being married or a parent



  • 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
  • Restricted access to lethal means
  • Responsibilities and duties to others
  • Pets

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. 

We are all responsible for providing an appropriate and timely response in preventing suicidal thoughts, attempts, and deaths. Recognizing this duty, the district has developed a Suicide Prevention Policy that all schools follow to protect the health and safety of its students in the school setting to ensure adequate supports for students, staff, and families affected by suicide attempts and loss. This policy is based on research and best practices in suicide prevention. It has been 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. Evidence refutes a common belief that talking about suicide can increase risk or place the idea in someone's mind.    Know the Signs - risk factors and warning signs

Know the Signs Brochure English, Spanish, Tagalog, Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Lao, Hmong, Punjabi
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. If you have non-urgent concerns, please contact the child's school counselor for assistance. 
If you or someone that you know is experiencing a crisis, call 911 or the San Diego Access & Crisis Line 888-724-7240.
  • Behavioral Health Emergency Contact Police/Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) - Call 9-1-1
  • Child Protective Services 858-560-2191/800-344-6000
  • Emergency Screening Unit (ESU) 619-421-6900

Overall Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention

To ensure the policies regarding suicide prevention are properly adopted, implemented, and updated, the Director of School and Student Services will serve 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. Board Policy 5141.52


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  Cara Dolnik
 Earl Warren Middle School    858-755-1558  Justin Conn
 La Costa Canyon High School  760-436-6136  Jaime Garman
 Oak Crest Middle School   760-753-6241  Kathryn Friedrichs
 Pacific Trails Middle School  858-509-1000  MaryAnne Nuskin
 San Dieguito Academy High School   760-753-1121  Adam Camacho
 Sunset High School   760-753-3860  Rick Ayala
 Torrey Pines High School   858-755-0125  Rob Coppo
 SDUHSD District Office     760-753-6491  Tiffany Hazlewood; Melissa Sage