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Solution Spotlight: Helping Schools Prevent Harm to Self & Others

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Mental health challenges are affecting millions of students in schools nationwide. Exacerbated by stressors related to the pandemic, youth mental health has even been declared a national emergency by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital Association, and the U.S. Surgeon General. This growing crisis is putting more pressure than ever on school leaders to respond and protect students before issues escalate into violence to self or others. 

Following the launch of Navigate360’s exclusive Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Manager + Training Bundle, which is designed to ensure school threat assessment teams have access to the expert training and tools they need to help students in crisis, Thom Jones, Navigate360’s senior vice president of Threat Detection & Prevention, sat down to provide additional insight into why these solutions are so vital. 

Check out the Q&A below for behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention training best practices, as well as an overview of how streamlined case management software can break down silos and improve process efficiency for districts of all sizes. 

Q: Why are these combined solutions so important right now? 

Thom Jones: First and foremost, behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention training are defining factors of a successful violence prevention program.  

As a result of the last two years, what we are seeing now is that every conversation around behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention training also includes discussion about the need for behavioral threat and suicide case management, as that is the next step in documentation, process fidelity and reduction in liability.  

We are proud to be the only organization to exclusively feature training and eLearning from three of the world’s top experts in behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention – Dr. Dewey Cornell (Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines/CSTAG), Dr. Marisa Randazzo (National Threat Assessment Center/NTAC), and Dr. Scott Poland (suicide prevention) – all fully aligned with a guided case management platform. 

 

TRAINING

Q: With the training being a defining factor, what are best practices when it comes to training building teams in behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention?   

Thom Jones: Behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention training is a necessity when it comes to helping students move off a path of violence to themselves or others. Training is ideal for all members of a multidisciplinary BTA team and other mental health specialists because there cannot be a single point of failure in the process – assessments cannot rely on a single individual to carry the load.     

There are a few critical best practices to consider here. They include documentation, who should be trained, the length of the training, post-training performance evaluation and knowledge verification.  

1. Documentation  

Schools must maintain accurate documentation of each person who goes through Level 1 and Level 2 training to prove they have met a high level of proficiency. This is important when an organization says they have “free” training available to individuals as well.  

2. Who needs to be trained? 

Everyone on the multidisciplinary threat assessment team must receive training. Typically, this includes approximately 3 individuals at an elementary school and 5 at middle and high schools. These can include such professionals as assistant principals, mental health specialists (counselors, school psychologists and social workers), and school resource officers (if available). District-level threat assessment teams should focus on coaching and supporting each school’s team.  

3. Length of training  

Navigate360’s Level 1 CSTAG and NTAC training takes 4 to 6 hours to complete, and the Level 2 training takes 4 hours.  

4. Performance evaluation / knowledge verification  

You can evaluate team members’ performance and verify knowledge retention with pre- and post-assessment testing. Upon finishing Navigate360 Level 1 and Level 2 training, participants receive a certificate of completion.  

Q: Why is it important to train new team members on a yearly basis? What about refresher training?   

Thom Jones: Regardless of the size of the district, it is inevitable that there will be staff turnover. It is critical that new team members receive the same high-level documented training that the initial team members received.   

This is especially important because in crisis situations, we default to our level of training. Once properly trained by experts, schools’ multidisciplinary teams will have a common understanding of evidence-based processes to follow, guiding them as they respond to and document in-the-moment situations in which students pose a threat of harm to themselves or others. This provides peace of mind and greatly reduces liability while increasing a school’s standard of care. 

Additionally, your teams might need refresher training or access to certain topics based on a case they are working. This can include a challenging special education case or questions surrounding FERPA.  

Q: What are the expected outcomes of team training?  

Thom Jones: School and district leaders can expect to see outcomes that reduce group knowledge variation and bring everyone together around a common standard. This is achieved by improving participants’ knowledge of behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention and ensuring a high degree of threat classification accuracy through evidence-based processes and expert guidance. With proper training, teams will know how to avoid both overreacting and underreacting.  

 

CASE MANAGEMENT 

Q: We see a lot of questions about Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance and school safety. Can you speak to that? 

Thom Jones: Our behavioral threat assessment and suicide case management system is 100% FERPA compliant. FERPA’s health or safety emergency exception specifically permits schools or districts themselves to disclose PII (personally identifiable information) from students’ education records in the context of school safety.  

Q: If an administrator is not sure how their buildings are currently handling behavioral threat assessment and suicide cases, what is the recommended process? What data do they need to collect?   

Thom Jones: Properly training teams on an evidence-based behavioral threat assessment and suicide prevention process comes first. This is followed by implementing a case management system that uses the exact process from the training. Once teams are trained, the case management system guides them through the data collection process.  

Q: How can proper data help schools remain proactive about individuals who pose a threat to themselves and/or others?  

Thom Jones: Navigate360’s Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management platform allows behavioral threat assessment teams to access case data on the following:  

  • Number of cases per building and grade level  
  • Demographics for every case (special education, race, free/reduced lunches, etc.)  
  • Where the initial report came from to initiate each case (for example, from a staff member, a student, anonymous tip line, etc.)
  • How many cases are associated with specific topics such as bullying/cyberbullying, social media threats, domestic violence and more  

Additionally, from a visibility and reporting standpoint, district officials can see all the cases that each building is working on in real-time. These cases can be easily sorted from the highest level down.  

Q: What are the expected outcomes when using case management?  

Thom Jones: There are many benefits to using case management software. With a robust and highly collaborative tool like Navigate360’s Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management, you can actively eliminate information silos for individuals who are on a path toward violence, which is critical to every district regardless of size.  

A seamless and streamlined process allows teams to focus on the student, increase team efficiency and ensure fidelity from start to finish. Whoever needs to see case information has real-time access in a secure, central repository with simplified data reporting. Nothing falls through the cracks.  

Navigate360’s Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Manager + Training Bundle  

This exclusive solution set serves as the foundation for any successful violence prevention program, empowering multidisciplinary teams and school staff members with consistent, evidence-based processes that increase fidelity, reduce liability and remove bias. 

We are proud to be the only company that offers industry-leading training aligned with expert-guided case management technology to help schools create holistic cultures of safety with 360-degree protection for students.  

Use the links below to explore each solution included our Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Manager + Training Bundle, or contact us today to receive a demo.

 

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