SOS Signs of Suicide Programs
Providing tools to help youth identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide, and self-injury in themselves and their peers
WELCOME TO SOS
Prevention through Education
The SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention 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 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).
SOS is unique among school-based suicide prevention programs as it incorporates two prominent suicide prevention strategies into a single program: an educational curriculum that raises awareness about suicide and depression, and a brief screening for depression.
The SOS Programs use a simple and easy-to-remember acronym, ACT® (Acknowledge, Care, Tell), to teach students action steps to take if they encounter a situation that requires help from a trusted adult. SOS is offered for both middle and high school aged youth and can be implemented in one class period by existing faculty and staff.
SIGNS OF SELF-INJURY
Safely Navigating a Difficult Topic
Research shows that a staggering 12%-37% of students in secondary schools are self-injuring. The Signs of Self-Injury Prevention Program educates high school-age youth about self-injury and what to do if they see signs in themselves and their friends, while teaching school staff how to safely address self-injury and contagion.
SOS SECOND ACT
Building a Foundation for Adulthood
This extension of the SOS High School Program builds resiliency in students in the 11th and 12th grades. The SOS Second ACT Program reviews the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide, while also prompting students to discuss substance use and other risky behaviors. Supporting material provides students with information on healthcare basics, as well as tips on seeking treatment, self-advocacy, and more. This program includes an award-winning educational DVD specific to the older student.
Increasing our Reach to Youth in Need
Screening for Mental Health provides in-person and online suicide prevention training to meet school and community needs. All trainings prepare adults to recognize risk factors and warning signs and respond to youth in need. Although you do not need to be trained in order to deliver the SOS Program, implementer training is available for schools and communities wanting extra guidance and support. Train-the-trainer options provide a sustainable solution for ongoing suicide prevention training and support large scale prevention efforts at the state and local level.