[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. The ability to identify motivations for suicidal behavior.
  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.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants 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.



Each student will choose their own textbook for this course which allows for personal areas of focus within the course information.  At the end of the course manual is a bibliography of potential books.  However, feel free to pick one not on the the list that is compatible with this course.  

None. All reading is online.


A course manual may be downloaded, from the instructor’s website at without charge, once you have registered for this course. Click on classes, from there scroll down the page and click on the orange lettering ‘Manual’ next to the class “Youth Suicide”. It will download as a PDF. While there is no fee for the manual, you may have to pay in order to order a book from the bibliography. Or, you may borrow one from a friend or check one out at the public library for free.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Read Manual

Read the entire manual and send a one page summary of what you hope to learn in this class. Everyone taking the class, including in groups, must complete this assignment. Download the current manual from my website.

Assignment #2: Read a Book

Read a book from the bibliography or one of student's choice. If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary. 

Critique the book based on personal experiences and insights.  Write a 2-3 page paper.

Assignment #3: Review LIterature

Review literature (minimum of three magazines, journals) on general topic of suicide.  Create an annotated bibliography. The annotation should include Title, Author, Publisher (or URL),
year of publication and your review of information contained. Add your opinion of
the value of the contents of each article. Write a 1-2 page summary of the articles.

Assignment #4: Complete Designated Manual Worksheets

Complete assignments for:

a) 10 Common Characteristics (pgs. 13-14)
b)  Why Depression Gets Missed  (p. 27)   
c)  Prevention of Teen Suicide (p. 35)

(Choose one of these pages and write a 2 page summary)

Assignment #5: Read a local article

Read your local newspaper (or listen to local news, go online) and find an article (or story) pertaining to suicide. Write a summary of information you found.  1-2 pages.

Assignment #6: Interview a Professional

  • Develop a minimum of 5 questions (and maximum of 10) to be asked of a professional who has
    worked in the area of suicide prevention. Contact a counseling facility within your community
    (Mental Health, Hospital, Private Practice). [Sample questions in manual on page 51]. Also ask these same questions to an individual within your district (counselor, nurse administrator). Compare and contrast the answers from the community personnel and the school personnel. Write a 2 page paper.

Assignment #7: Daily Journal

  • Keep a daily self-reflective journal for 2 weeks. Each person is to write a minimum of three entries per week. The writings should reflect personal feelings and emotions of that particular day. The intent is to sensitize individuals to the daily "ups and downs" of life. Using your 2 week journal, write out (in a 2 page paper) the intervention strategies and coping mechanisms you use to minimize your "down" times.

Assignment #8: Case Study in Manual

Complete the case study found on page 19.  Write a two page summary of your answers to the questions found on page 20.



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 do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #9: Develop a School Wide Plan

  • Using the "sample" program (p. 49) within the manual as a guideline, develop a school wide or district
    wide post-intervention plan for suicidal behavior. If your school already has one in place, evaluate
    the effectiveness of the plan. Write a 2 page paper.

Assignment #10: Lesson Development

Assignment #A:

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
Include any student feedback on your lesson.


Assignment #B

Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.

Assignment #11: (500 Level ONLY)

For 500 level participants, in addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following assignment options:

Option A)  Mentor another individual in the concepts of this class. Have them share two or three key concepts that they would like to implement within their work or social setting.  Develop a plan for the implementation of these ideas.  (1-2 pages).


Option B)  Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff based on this course and focused on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school. Minimum of 15 slides.  Save this as a pdf.


Option C)  Another assignment of your own design, with instructor prior approval.


Assignment #12: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

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

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  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?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mike Sedler, M.S.W., D. Min., brings over 40 year of educational experience as a special education director, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.   He provides consultation and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses. He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification. Mike has worked with children of all ages, specifically with children exhibiting behavioral challenges, mental health concerns, and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  In addition, he taught general education classes in the elementary school and middle school arenas.   All of Mikeʼs classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found success in implementing Mikeʼs clear and concise approaches. All of his course material may be immediately implemented into a school or a home.



You may choose a book from this list or one of your own choosing that is compatible to this course.  Please let the instructor know if you choose a book that is not on this list.

Ackerman, John and Horowitz, Lisa.  Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention.  Springer Publishing, 2022.  Focuses on the crisis of youth suicide.  (P-12).

Bertini, Kristine.  Suicide Prevention (Psychology Briefs).   Praeger Publishing, 2016.  Strong overview of Suicide and prevention (grades P-12).   800 368 6868

Billy, Jay.  Lead With Culture.  Dave Burgess Consulting, 2018   How to be leaders and models as we take culture to the next level.  (grades P-12) 

Collier, Nancy. Can’t Stop Thinking: How to Let Go of Anxiety & Free Yourself from Obsessive Rumination. 2021 Harbinger Publications. Empfield, Maureen.    

Dikel, William.  Student Mental Health.  W.W. Norton and Company, 2022.  Comprehensive book on disorders.  (P-12). 

Haig, Matt.  Reasons to Stay Alive.  Penguin Books, 2016.  Life story of depression and suicide ideology. (grades 5-12).   212 366 2000.

Lund, Sarah Griffith.  Blessed Youth Survival Guide.  Chalice Press, 2022.  Tools to help disconnected youth. This book does have spiritual foundations.  (5-12).

Mueller, Anna and Abruytyn, Seth.  Life Under Pressure.  Oxford University Press, 2024.  A study that transforms our understanding of why youth die by suicide.  (grades 5-12).   

McGuiness, Sheri.  Choosing Hope, Finding Joy.    Sojourn Publishing, 2016.  Personal story of loss and family dealing with it. (grades P-12).  

Phifer, Lisa and Sibbald, Laura.  Trauma-Informed Social Emotional Toolbox.  Pesi Publishing, 2020.  Empower children and adolescents to cope with trauma and build resiliency.  (P-12)