At the secondary level, school counselors and social workers have implemented a program called SOS Signs of Suicide. The program teaches students about this difficult topic and encourages them to seek help.
SOS has been used by thousands of schools over the past few decades. Studies have shown that it effectively teaches students about depression and suicide while reducing the number of students’ self-reported suicide attempts.
Through the program, students learn:
- that depression is treatable, so they are encouraged to seek help
- how to identify depression and potential suicide risk in themselves or a friend
- to ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell a trusted adult) if concerned about themselves or a friend
- who they can turn to at school for help, if they need it
Once per school year at the secondary level, students will watch age-appropriate video clips and participate in a guided discussion about depression, suicide, and what to do if they are concerned about a friend. Following the video, students will complete a response slip which asks whether they would like to talk to an adult about any concerns. School staff will conduct brief meetings with any student asking to talk.
Below, you will find a variety of resources to assist you in understanding the program as well as how to talk with your child about this topic. Parents with questions or concerns should contact their school counselor or social worker.
SOS Signs of Suicide Parent Resource Page
This Parent Resource Page portal is designed to provide parents with information about our suicide prevention efforts and helpful tools for supporting your child’s mental health. We encourage parents to look through the resources and watch the accompanying videos.
Local and National Mental Health Resources
Our counseling and social work team has put together a great list of mental health resources that can be accessed both locally and nationally. You can view those resources and their contact information at the link above.
ACT is a key message of the SOS program. It is an acronym for the following:
- 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.