Scholarship Report: Jean Theobald – Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training

Event: Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training

Attendee: Jean Theobald – Library Media Specialist, Rochester Public Schools

How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

As the high school librarian for Rochester Public Schools, I have over 5,000 students. I want to know the signs of depression and be prepared to act. I want my students to have a positive educational experience in my libraries, and feel safe when they come to use the library. My skills in problem solving and being proactive are important in my job to help my students with life situations as well as educational ones. I also attended this event to learn about any new resources and materials that can aid in prevention of suicide at my high schools, and that I can recommend to my students and staff.


What was your biggest takeaway from the event as a whole?

Practicing saying “Are you having thoughts of hurting yourself? Do those thoughts include suicide?” out loud. It feels uncomfortable to ask these questions. So we practiced. I am confident now that I have attended this session that it is necessary to ask, as it is the beginning of taking action to help.


What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

The acronym ACT. It’s easy to keep in mind. A is for acknowledge and ask. It’s okay to ask if someone is having thoughts of hurting themselves. The C is for care and concern. Be empathetic and understanding, but don’t try to fix anything. The T is talk and treat. Make sure the person has connections to support services, and follow up.


Would you recommend this event to others and why?