At Out-of-Door, faculty and staff strive every day to ensure that our students are graduating with the preparation needed to confidently navigate both their college experiences and their lives beyond college. As part of ODA’s commitment to health and wellness, faculty and staff at the Uihlein Campus have, for the past two years, participated in SafeTALK training courses through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This important training provides support and guidance to faculty and staff who have an open line of communication with students through advisory, coaching and general student-teacher interactions.
The SafeTALK program is a three-hour alertness training led by AFSP Central and Southern Florida Area Director, Mrs. Tara Sullivan Larsen. The course aims to prepare adults to become "suicide-alert helpers" by building the adults' understanding and knowledge around how to speak with someone who may be struggling. Participants learn to notice and respond to situations where suicidal thoughts might be present, as well as how to connect someone to resources for further help.
“The program was provided as a proactive and preventative measure. I am truly grateful that Out-of-Door is taking these thoughtful and critical steps that increase awareness of available resources and remove the stigma around discussing suicide,” said Mrs. Melinda Lloyd, Director of Upper School Academic Services and Counseling.
At Upper School Assembly, Mrs. Lloyd asked the faculty and staff members who had participated in the training to step forward to join her, creating a powerful visual representation of the large number of adults available to offer support for the students.
“Students should never have to worry alone,” said Mrs. Lloyd. “We hope that in witnessing the show of support from our school community, students will be reminded that there’s always an adult here to listen."
As another show of Out-of-Door’s commitment, the Upper School faculty hosted a dress-down day that raised nearly $1,000 for the AFSP.