Academic performance has long been linked to how supported students feel at school. Now, a Rutgers study suggests this sentiment is also essential to preventing suicides. A Rutgers researcher found that having a strong sense of school belonging – the subjective feeling of being accepted, valued, included and encouraged in the school community – could mitigate suicidal tendencies among Black adolescents.

“Having a supportive teacher or other nonparent adult can change a child’s life because they will want to go to school,” said Adrian Gale, an assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Social Work and co-author of the study published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. “We wanted to understand the factors that affect kids’ sense of belonging at school, and how these factors might influence rates of suicide.”  To read the full story.