SOS - Signs of Suicide Prevention Program
As a school, our strength comes from being a community of people who care, support, and reach out for one another. September and October are nationally recognized as a time to bring attention to mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and depression screening. When we provide supportive opportunities for our young people to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and have discussions around these topics, we empower them with knowledge and tools to keep them safe and healthy.
In recent years, we have successfully implemented the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program to our student body. This year we will continue to provide suicide prevention education, training, and random depression screenings as part of the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program to all of our 10th graders throughout the school year.
The SOS educational/prevention program will be facilitated in small groups of 10th graders in one of their classes by a team of school counselors and teachers. Throughout this school year, school mental health specialists will randomly administer depression screens to 10th grade students. The screen and other Suicide Prevention Materials are on the New Albany High School website on the School and College Counseling Wellness page.
The SOS Program has been used by thousands of schools over the past ten years. It has been proven successful at increasing help seeking skills by students concerned about themselves or a friend and is the only school-based suicide prevention selected by SAMSHA for its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts.
Our goals in participating in this program are straightforward:
- To impress upon teens that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns
- To provide students training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicidality in a friend
- To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression
- To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness, and help them assess whether or not they may have symptoms consistent with depression