by Jen Dondero
On March 7th, the 7th grade students participated in the Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (SOS). We believe it is important to focus on the whole child and assess any social-emotional needs he/she may have and address them. The teen years can be tumultuous emotionally and we believe it is important to be proactive in supporting students. SOS is the only school-based suicide prevention program selected by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for its National Registry of EvidenceBased Programs and Practices. This is the only schoolbased suicide prevention program that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts. It was a joint effort by the Medfield High School and the Blake Middle School guidance department. Students were exposed to the ACT acronym, which stands for Acknowledge the problem Care for yourself/friend Tell a trusted adult.In groups, of approximately 20-25 students, students viewed a video regarding suicide and depression; they were shown a powerpoint of describing signs of depression and suicidality. They were then asked to fill out a survey to assess whether or not they were at risk for depression or suicide. They were also asked if they needed to speak to a guidance counselor about their needs or the needs of a friend. Students were provided with guidelines for getting further support if needed. After going through the questionnaires, we determined which students needed to be seen by the guidance counselor and also did outreach to parents to ensure the student was safe and going to be supported at home.
The following data breaks down the information for our SOS program at Blake
Participated - 180
Opted Out - 20
Absent – 5
Brief Screen for Adolescent Depression
# of Students
Unlikely you have depression
Possible you have depression
Likely you have depression
Question 4 and 5 are about suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Do you think seriously about killing yourself?
Have you tried to kill yourself in the past year?
5 - Students indicated that they wanted to talk