Safety Intervention Protocol » Safety Intervention Protocol

Safety Intervention Protocol


Safety Intervention Protocol


The following is the Milford School District procedure to follow when a student expresses a verbal or nonverbal suicidal intent. This document is intended to be used by the school counselor, school psychologist, school administrator, school social worker, or school nurse. These staff members will be referred to as "designee" in the following protocol.

  1. Each Principal must designate one or more professionals employed by the school district to respond to reports of a student who may be at-risk of suicide. The Principal may designate school counselors, nurses, school psychologists or other appropriate professionals.
  2. Any sign or verbalization of suicidal intent or ideation must be shared immediately with a school designee.
  3. The school designee will conduct an initial interview to gather relevant information. They may choose to use a screening questionnaire and/or include another mental health professional during their interview.

If a student is determined not to be in any immediate danger:


3a. The school counselor will notify parents and appropriate school personnel to develop a plan to support the student. Plans should include who will be with the student once he/she returns home from school and a commitment to safeguard the student.


3b. The designee must complete the Parent/Guardian Contact Form.


3c.  The counselor will notify and collaborate with an outside therapist if applicable.


3d.  A wraparound plan should be created with relevant supports.



If a student is determined not able to remain at school:


3e. Designated school professionals must notify a parent or legal guardian if a child may be at risk of suicide. Parent contact must be made as soon as possible.


3f.  The designee must complete the Parent/Guardian Contact Form.


3g.  The school will request a release to authorize contact with outside therapist and/or emergency evaluation professional.


3h.  The counselor should also request the evaluating professional complete a "return to school form." The school should follow any recommendations provided by medical professionals


  1. An administrator will be contacted as soon as possible, to be informed about the decision to call parent/legal guardians concerning a suicide risk.
  2. If parents/legal guardians cannot be contacted, emergency contacts should be called. In the event a responsible party is unable or unwilling to respond, an administrator will be notified. The administrator will be responsible for parental location and notification. If the administrator is unable to contact the parent, the administrator will call 911 to request emergency assistance.
  3. It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to transport the child from the school to a family physician, a hospital emergency room, the Greater Nashua Mental Health, or another medical provider to be assessed for suicide risk. The school may secure emergency services (i.e. 911) if the parent or guardian cannot be reached or if the parent or guardian does not take action.
  4. If a parent/legal guardian refuses immediate responsibility and follow-up emergency assessment, a report will be filed with the NH Division of Children, Youth and Family Services (DCYF). Nashua area 603-883-7726; State of New Hampshire 1-800-894-5533.
  5. Parents/legal guardians will be asked to contact the school concerning the return of their child to school.
  6. Parents/legal guardians will be asked to provide appropriate school professionals with documentation regarding the assessment or other follow-up information.
  7. Following any outside evaluation for suicidal statement, intent or ideation, the school counselor or administrator will arrange a meeting to be held upon return to school. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop a safety plan for the student. Members of the team could include: the student, parents, school counselor, social worker, school nurse, outside therapist and administrator. Other school personnel will be notified of this plan as appropriate. As a part of the plan, a referral to Special Education should be considered.
  8. All suicide protocol documentation will be kept in a secure location separate from the cumulative file.


Duty to Protect, Duty to Warn 

Duty to protect in Loco Parentis:


While children are in school or at school activities the school stands in the place of the parents which includes the duty to protect, discipline and take care of the child. This requires any school employee to take action to prevent harm from befalling a student. For example, if one student has threatened to harm another student, you should take steps to protect the child who has been threatened. You should consult with your supervisor, administrator, or legal counsel regarding specific situations where this may apply. 


Duty to Warn: 


Under NH law, licensed mental health professionals and (psychiatric nurse/practitioners) have a duty to protect an individual against harm if a threat has been made against them by a client. This is commonly referred to as a "Tarasoff Warning". Typically, a warning may include direct notification of the threatened individual, and/or direct notification of the police, and/or civil commitment of the individual making threats (with information provided to the institution where committed). Non licensed practitioners in NH are not necessarily held to the same standard, however warning an individual under the guidelines of this statute or general Tarasoff practices might be a reasonable and prudent action to take. In any of these situations, it is best to consult with a supervisor, administrator, or attorney before proceeding. 


330-A:35 Civil Liability; Duty to Warn-


Any person licensed under this chapter has a duty to warn of, or to take reasonable precautions to provide protection from a client's violent behavior when the client has communicated to such.