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SOS--Signs of Suicide
SOS--Signs of Suicide
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

SOS--Signs of Suicide

On October 3rd, 2018,  HHS students participated in Signs of Suicide - a national suicide prevention program. The Signs of Suicide (SOS) program educates students about the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide and how to seek help for themselves or a friend.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in ages 15-24 in the United States.  In 2017 a survey of Kansas students reported that during the 12 months prior to the survey, sixteen percent of the students had seriously considered attempting suicide.  Twelve percent of students made a plan about how they would attempt suicide, and seven percent of Kansas students attempted suicide.

During the SOS program, students viewed videos of possible scenarios that teenagers may face themselves or others may experience regarding depression or suicide. They also learned about the signs (or symptoms) of depression and potential warning signs of suicide. The program encouraged students to ACT.  It uses the 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.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE -- Take it seriously, and listen.

    • Acknowledge that you are noticing signs of depression or suicide in yourself or a friend and that it is serious. Recognizing that something is wrong is the first step.

  • CARE -- Let your friends know you care about them.

    • When someone is suffering, it can be difficult for them to remember there are people who care.  Show or voice your worry and let them know you are concerned that they may need help that you can not provide.

  • TELL -- Inform a trusted adult, either with your friend or on their behalf.

    • The first step to feeling better is asking for help. There are many people available to help you including health professionals, teachers, schools counselors or social workers, coaches, parents and other family.  

After watching the videos, students participated in a classroom discussion which provided an opportunity for students to reflect on each video scenario, answer questions posed by the teachers, ask questions themselves and share their thoughts and feelings. Students then completed Response Cards. The Response Cards gave an opportunity for students to speak with the high school counseling staff after the presentation about themselves or share a concern about someone else.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the district social worker, Tami Shefferd, LMSW.