After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools | 29 If the student’s friends create a memorial page of their own, school staff should communicate with the students to ensure the page includes safe messaging and accurate information. School staff should join any student-initiated memorial pages so that they can monitor and respond as appropriate. School Newspapers Coverage of the student’s death in the school newspaper may be seen as a kind of memorial. Articles may also be used to educate students about suicide warning signs and available resources. Having some focus on healthy coping, resilience, and recovery is also helpful. Any such coverage should be reviewed by an adult to ensure it conforms to the standards set forth in Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide. Events The student’s classmates may wish to dedicate an event, such as a dance performance, poetry reading, or sporting event, to the memory of their friend. End-of-the-year activities may raise questions of whether to award a posthumous degree or prize or to include a video tribute to the deceased student during graduation. The guiding principle is that all deaths should be treated the same way. Schools may also wish to encourage the student’s friends to consider creative suggestions, as noted below, such as organizing a suicide prevention awareness or fundraising event. Vignette D: A Creative Solution for a Difficult Event A 17-year-old senior who was playing the lead in a high school musical died by suicide 10 days before opening night. The Drama Department struggled with whether to stage the show as scheduled. The plot of the show featured a possible suicide attempt by one of the main characters. Some cast members felt unable to continue with rehearsals, although most felt that “the show must go on.” The director did not want to unwittingly highlight the real-life tragedy by cancelling the show and also wanted to find a way to increase awareness about mental health issues, encourage help-seeking, and decrease prejudice. The school leadership consulted with suicide prevention experts and also met with the family of the student who died. The solution was to have the students propose ideas to the director for how to decrease risks if the show were to go on. They made a brief video that was sent out to the school community (parents and students) to describe their reasons for carrying on with the show as scheduled. Intentional messages of hope, help- seeking, and strength in times of difficulty were included in the video, as well as communicated before each show in introductory comments made by the director and in the show’s program, which also included a list of mental health resources. The script was edited to remove most of the direct references to suicide. According to student, parent, and staff reflections, all of the shows were successful, and there were no negative incidents related to this show. Often, the parents of the deceased student express an interest in holding an assembly or other event to address the student body and describe the intense pain the suicide death has caused to their family in hopes that this will dissuade other students from taking their own lives.