[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Michael Sedler



Suicide continues to claim the lives of many individuals. Suicidal behavior and actual suicide is one of the leading causes of death among youth, ages 15 to 24.  Even more alarming is the increase in suicidal behavior among the population at large. The teenage years can be turmoil and frequently include mood swings and sadness. Depression is common and can be serious when prolonged. Regardless of age, people who are depressed have a higher risk of suicidal behavior.

Many educators feel inadequately trained and unable to be a part of preventing this tragic ending of a life. This course will emphasize strategies and interventions to support students exhibiting suicidal behavior. By reading a chosen book, analyzing case studies and completing workbook assignments, you will learn verbal and nonverbal warning signs of suicidal behavior.

This class is recommended for all educators, specialists, administrators, and support personnel.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Identified signs of suicidal behavior in the student population.
  2. Recognized verbal and nonverbal warnings as they relate to suicide.
  3. Developed strategies to aid in decreasing suicidal risk among students.
  4. Listed suicidal indicators and specific intervention strategies for each one.
  5. Organized a referral list of support agencies and individuals.
  6. Assessed appropriate interventions and integrated them into classroom routines.
  7. Developed a school wide post-intervention plan including a Response Team approach.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



None. All reading is online.





Assignment #1:

  • Develop a list of at least five(5) questions you are hoping to be answered during this course.  As you go through the course, write out the answers to these questions. At the conclusion of the course send these questions and answers to instructor.
  • Read a book from the Bibliography or one of your own choice with prior approval of the instructor.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #1’.

Assignment #2:

  • Read all materials in the manual.

Assignment #3:

  • Review the literature on the general topic of suicide.
  • Create an annotated Bibliography. (minimum of four(4) journals/periodicals)
  • Add your opinion of the value of the contents of each article.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #3’.

Assignment #4:

  • Complete all required pages within manual.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #4’.

Assignment #5:

  • Search your local newspaper or listen to local news, for an article or story concerning suicide.
  • Write a summary of the piece.
  • Compare and contrast this material with information in Assignments #1- #3.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #5’.

Assignment #6:

  • Develop 5-10 questions to ask a professional working in the area of suicide prevention. 
  • Contact a counseling facility within your community: Mental Health, Hospital, Private Practice and ask your questions.
  • Ask these same questions to an individual within your district: counselor, nurse administrator. 
  • In a 500-word paper, compare and contrast the responses from the community personnel and the school personnel.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #6’.

Assignment #7:

  • Keep a daily self-reflective journal for three (3) weeks. 
  • Write a minimum of one paragraph per day.  The writings should record personal feelings and emotions for that particular day.  The intent is to sensitize individuals to the daily “ups and downs” of life.
  • Using your 3 week journal, write out intervention strategies and coping mechanisms that you use to minimize your “down” times (500 words).

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #7’.



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #8:

  • Using the sample program within the manual as a guideline, develop a school wide or district wide post-intervention plan for suicidal behavior.  If your school already has a plan in place, evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. (500 – 750 words)

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #8’.

Assignment #9:

  • Meet with a fellow educator and share your school-wide or district-wide plan for suicide intervention.
  • In a 1-2 page paper, write a report of your conversation.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #9’.

Assignment #10:

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following assignment options.

Option A)
Mentor one other teacher in the methods and information from this class. 

In a 1-2 page paper, write up the outcomes.  Include a 1-page written evaluation from the chosen teacher regarding the way you taught the information and the content.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #10A’.

Option B)
Based on personal experiences critique the text read for this course, in a 750 word paper. Include a bibliography of suggested reading and other media that would enhance your knowledge base.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Suicide #10B’.


Assignment #11: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.


Mike Sedler, D.Min., M.S.W. brings over 30 years of educational experience as an administrator, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.  

He provides consultation services and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses.  He has been teaching “adult learning classes” since the mid 1980’s and has had the privilege of working for The Heritage Institute for over 25 years. 

He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification (K-8).  His combination of classroom experience, behavior intervention approaches, and involvement in working with hundreds of families allows for an excellent blend in all his classes.

Mike is passionate about children and emphasizes the importance of avoiding power struggles, offering options/choices to children, setting clear boundaries and guidelines as well as finding a place of positive engagement and connection with each individual.  His heart for people and emphasis on positive communication are found throughout his seminars and classes.

All of Mike’s classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found ongoing success in implementing Mike’s clear and concise approaches.



You may pick a book not from the list with the instructor’s approval.
To order a book, contact the publisher or purchase through a bookstore, on-line, or other retail outlets.
Bertini, Kristine.  Suicide Prevention (Psychology Briefs). Praeger Publishing, 2016. 
Strong overview of Suicide and prevention (grades P-12).   (800)368-6868.
Empfield, Maureen.  Understanding Teenage Depression.  Holt Paperbacks, 2013. 
An in depth look at teen depression and suicide (grades 6-12).  (888)330-8477.
Goldney, Robert. Suicide Prevention.  Oxford University Press, 2013.
Clinical book and assessment on Suicide. (grades P-12).   (800)445-9714.
James, John, Cherry, Frank.  The Grief Recovery Handbook.. Harper Collins Publishers. 2009.
Strategies in working with hurting people. (grades K-12).    (800)242-7737.
James, John.  When Children Grieve.  Harper-Collins, 2010.
Helping children with loss, death, and grief. (grades P-12)  (800)242-7737.
Joiner, Thomas.  Why People Die By Suicide. Harvard University Press, 2007.
Survivor of suicide shares his journey. (grades 9-12).  (800)405-1619.
King, Cheryl, Foster, Cynthia. Teen Suicide Risk.  Guilford Press, 2013. 
A book to help combat suicidal issues in youth (grades 4-12).   (800)365-7006.
Klott, Jack.  Suicide and Psychological pain.  Premier Publishing, 2012. 
Identify suicide based on characteristics and studies (grades 5-12).
Marcus, Eric.  Why Suicide?  Eric Marcus.  Harper-Collins, 2013. 
Questions and answers about suicide (grades 5 -12).  (800)242-7737.
Miller, David, Berman, Alan. Child and Adolescent Suicide Behavior.  Guilford Press, 2010. 
A must read book for school professionals. (grades P-12).   (800)365-7006.
Noel, Book.  I Wasn't Ready To Say Goodbye. Brook Noel. Sourcebooks, Inc, 2008.
Helping strategies to cope with loss of loved one. (adult).    (800)432-7448.
Noel, Brook.  I Wasn't Ready To Say Goodbye Workbook. Sourcebooks, Inc, 2008.
Step by Step \support and encouragement through grief journey. (grades 7-12).
Redfield Jamison, Kay.  Night Falls Fast.  Random House, 2011. 
Historical, scientific, and personal understanding of suicide (grades P-12).   (800)733-3000.
Woods, Dorris.  Breaking Point. Trafford Publishing 2006.
Looks at essence of teen suicide and trigger factors that cause it. (grades 6-12).   (888)232-4444.