Suicide Prevention Program
Signs of Suicide and Signs of Self-Injury Prevention Program for Middle School
The adolescent years are marked by a roller-coaster ride of emotions—difficult for youth, their parents, and educators. It is easy to misread depression as normal adolescent turmoil; however, depression (among the most common of mental illnesses) appears to be occurring at a much earlier age. Depression—which is treatable—is a leading risk factor for suicide. In addition, self-injury has become a growing problem among youth.
To proactively address these issues, Edmonds School District is offering depression awareness and suicide prevention training as part of the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program. The program encourages students to seek help if they are concerned about themselves or a friend. The SOS Program 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 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’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).
Our goals in participating in this program are straightforward:
· To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness
· To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated
· To provide students training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicide risk
in themselves or a friend
· To impress upon youth that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step
of talking to a trusted adult about their concerns
· To teach students who they can turn to at school for help, if they need it
We are excited to announce that CPM is utilizing a brand new resource, the SOS Signs of Suicide Portal, as a part of our school-wide suicide prevention efforts. Log in to this free educational site for information on warning signs and risk factors for youth suicide, access useful resources, and to learn more about the key message all students will learn: ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell). You can preview the video your student will watch and take an anonymous online mental health screening on behalf of your child. To access this mental health resource, visit www.sossignsofsuicide.org and enter:
Attached is a newsletter with additional information. We will also be sending home further information regarding the health lesson including an opt-out consent form before classes are taught during October - December.