District Crisis Coordinator Newsletter Karen Koonce

September 2015

From the Crisis Coordinator:

Greetings City Schools of Decatur Community:

As the District Crisis Coordinator, I am here to support staff with issues and concerns

as it relates to crisis response and crisis prevention - simply: I'm here to help ensure that our students are safe!

As many of you know, I have shared that the GA General Assembly passed House Bill 198- also known as The Jason Flatt Act. It requires school personnel to receive annual suicide prevention education and training. The training is intended to help educators recognize the problem of youth suicide and understand how to help. To comply with this mandate, a web-based training module is provided for you to view. The link below will give you access to the training video and necessary instructions:

ALL STAFF are asked to complete this training by September 21, 2015.

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Congratulations to the staff below for being the FIRST in their school to complete

the Suicide Awareness Training!! Please give them a hand when you see them. (Thanks to all of you who have also completed the training)

First Administrator to complete the training~ Principal Rochelle Lofstrand from Westchester!

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You can make a difference and help fight the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide.

Below is a list of things that you can do to make a difference:

  • Watch and listen to youth-- pay attention to sudden changes in behavior that cause you concern.
  • Encourage other local service organizations, places of worship and community centers to become aware of the problem of youth suicide and its prevention opportunities.
  • As a parent, talk openly and honestly with your child or your child’s friends about your concerns and be supportive in helping them cope with their feelings.
  • For a crisis, reach out-- speak to school support staff, myself, call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Educate yourself about the magnitude of the problem, the signs of concern and the tools of prevention (use the link below to access the online suicide awareness training for teachers)


Have you ever wanted to be a superhero for a day? If you're interested in supporting a local cause, The 9th Annual Walk of HEROes 5K is Saturday, September 19, 2015. DeKalb Community Service Board is looking for heroes in the community to join in transforming the lives of people challenged with mental illness, substance addictions and developmental disabilities. No flight or web-shooting powers are required– just a desire to help others! Here's a link to the event:

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DHS Awareness Campaign

Congratulations to Joy Kendrick- a student in the graphic design pathway at Decatur High School's Career Academy. She is the winner of the poster contest on suicide awareness. Her poster will be displayed throughout the DHS school building and during upcoming awareness campaign's. (Special thanks to Mark Jones- Graphic Design Instructor and DHS Media Center staff for their support and assistance.)
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