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Signs of Suicide(SOS)

Signs of Suicide (SOS)

SOS is implemented in our middle and high schools. Research indicates that youth are more likely to turn to peers than adults when in crisis. The SOS program works on a model of peer-to-peer intervention. By training students to recognize the signs of depression and suicidality, and by empowering them to intervene when confronted with a friend who is exhibiting these symptoms, SOS capitalizes on an important social-emotional aspect of this developmental period.  For students, the program goals are to:

  • Help youth understand that depression is a treatable illness
  • Educate youth that suicide is not a normal response to stress, but rather a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression
  • At the high school level, inform youth of the risks associated with alcohol use to cope with feelings
  • Increase help-seeking by providing students with specific action steps to take if they are concerned about themselves or others and identifying resources available to them. The main help-seeking message is ACT:
    • Acknowledge that you are seeing signs of depression and/or suicide and that it is serious
    • Care enough to let your friend know that you care about him/her and that you are concerned that he/she needs help
    • Tell a trusted adult, either with your friend or on his/her behalf
  • Encourage students and their parents/guardians to engage in a discussion about these issues

Last Modified on September 12, 2020