Mental health resources and online training for staff, families and community

A Message from the Department of Teaching and Learning

Dear families, staff and community,

*please note that this message will discuss the sensitive topic of suicide.*

Given the importance of staying connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and building resilience, we will offer wellness opportunities throughout the school year.  We have also collected wellness and mental health resources on our website.

As we move into fall with darker weather and often increased stressors associated with this time of year, we welcome all staff, families and community members to take part in a free online training on suicide prevention, which is provided in partnership with Whatcom Family Community Network and M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. Youth Suicide Prevention Program, with funding provided by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA).

This training aligns with the mental health aspects of our Bellingham Public Schools Big 4 for Wellness areas: mental and emotional health, physical activity, social connection and reflection.

Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training

This course is for those interested in knowing how to respond and support someone who is suicidal.  Take this FREE, online evidence-based training and learn three steps to help prevent suicide. The training is taken at your own pace and typically takes one hour to complete. Course objectives include knowing the common causes of suicidal behavior, the warning signs of suicide and how to get help for someone in crisis.  Participants will learn how to question, persuade and refer someone who may be suicidal, and how to get help for themselves or learn more about preventing suicide.

If you’re interested in participating, there are two ways to do so. It is free of charge to all staff, families and community members through Dec. 31.

  1. If you work in the school district or are interested in earning fundamental course of study (FCS) paraeducator hours: register in Pro Dev for course #6905
  2. If you are not an employee or do not wish to earn FCS hours: click this link to request a direct link and password via email.

Before we close this message: if you or someone in your family needs support for safety and/or mental health, here are some resources in our community, and we also encourage all our families to reach out to their school counselor to be connected with support.  We are here to help you.

Additional national and local resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: People in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know someone in crisis, should call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or chat online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Confidential support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Trevor Project Lifeline: Supporting LGBTQ Youth with suicide prevention 24/7 – 1-866-488-7386

Whatcom County Resources/Local Support:
Crisis Line 1-800-584-3578, Mental Health Treatment Access Line 1-888-693-7200