Signs of Suicide Program
Our school uses Signs of Suicide (SOS), a suicide prevention program that educates students about the relationship between suicide and depression. We encourage all students to seek help from trusted adults whether they have concerns about themselves or a friend using the ACT® message.
Key Message of SOS: ACT
- Acknowledge that you are seeing signs of depression or suicide in yourself or a friend and that it is serious.
- Let you friend know how much you Care about them and that you are concerned that they need help.
- Tell a trusted adult that you are worried about yourself or a friend.
SOS Program Research
SOS is used in thousands of schools around the country and is the only youth suicide prevention program that has demonstrated an improvement in students’ knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression, as well as a reduction in actual suicide attempts. Listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, the SOS Program has shown a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40-64% in randomized control studies (Aseltine et al., 2007 & Schilling et al., 2016).
- It is safe to talk about suicide.
- If someone is thinking about suicide, you can’t make it worse by talking about it.
- The opposite is true. Bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.
On the Day of the Program
- Students watch an educational video and participate in guided discussion about depression, suicide, and what to do if they are worried about a friend.
- Students complete a depression screening that indicates whether they have symptoms that may be consistent with depression (learn more about depression screening).
- Students complete a response card noting whether they would like to speak to an adult following the presentation.
- School staff follow up with students as needed and notify parents of any follow-up conversation with their child.
- Some students may benefit from further assessment from a mental health professional. School staff provide families with resources and referral information.
Contact your school with any questions about the SOS Program.
To learn more about youth suicide, click on any of the sections below. If you need help or are concerned about a loved one, confidential resources are available 24/7.