• Suicide Risk Assessments Pose Legal Risk to School Counselors

    Increasingly, well-meaning school boards or administrators are crafting dangerous suicide assessments or screening policies and doing so without the voice of the school counselor. These policies imposed on school counselors often don’t consider the context-dependent nature of the school counselor’s work and the nature and function of schools. Policies requiring school counselors to assess and quantify student suicide risk moves school counselors into areas outside their competence level and requires them to perform an impossible task. Focus on myriad court cases that prove this to be true. School counselors know and deliver their role in student suicidal ideation by alerting parents, providing resources and, in some cases, involving child protective services. To expand the role further into quantifying low-risk or no-risk suicide is to set the school counselor and school district up for a lawsuit. Hear the legal and ethical arguments against being required to quantify low-risk or no-risk suicide, as well as federal law considerations when using universal screeners. Please click here for the webinar handout.

    Earn 0.1 CEUs/1 contact hours for this webinar by purchasing and passing the corresponding quiz found in the Specialists and Exams section of the Online Store. Search by keyword of the webinar title to find the exam in the online store. CEU exams are available for three years following the live webinar.

    Learning Objectives: 

    After viewing this webinar you should be able to:

    1. Identify and discuss the legal and ethical implications for school counselors who are notified of or working with students who may be experiencing suicidal ideation
    2. Explore ethical dilemmas and considerations when using risk assessments and universal screeners
    3. Examine court cases and identify best practices when required to quantify suicide risk


    • Wendy D. Rock, Assistant Professor of Counseling, School Counseling Program Coordinator, Southeastern Louisiana University
    • Carolyn Stone, Professor of Counselor Educator, University of North Florida

    Original airdate: May 17, 2021, 1-2 p.m. Eastern

  • Share