Providing tools to help youth identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide, and self-injury in themselves and their peers

The Need Our Programs Our Training

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 11 and 18
- Centers for Disease Control, 2015

Suicide: A Growing Concern for American Youth 

According to a 2015 report from the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13 to 18 years of age experiences a seriously debilitating mental disorder at some point during their adolescence. Troubling statistics from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed 17% of youth seriously considered suicide in the previous year and more than 14% made a plan. The nation’s youth are suffering with one of the most painful and debilitating illnesses. Depression can leave youth feeling worthless, guilty, and devoid of hope. Mental health is not often a popular topic of conversation due to stigma and fear, leaving students afraid to talk about these serious feelings.

             

The Role of Schools

School is a natural and effective place to deliver suicide prevention programming. Schools can create a safe environment to teach students the signs and symptoms of depression and suicidal thinking, while also training faculty and staff to respond to concerns. Many schools are using our nationally recognized, evidence-based SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Programs to educate youth and provide training for school personnel.

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“After we implemented the SOS program, we found that the students are more likely to approach an adult when they’re concerned about a friend, family member, or loved one who may be suicidal. Training the staff has also been vitally important. The combination of the students being more open and the staff being trained to respond appropriately is a powerful one.”

- Laurence Botnick, Denver Public Schools