During the first two weeks of March, school counselors will visit Health and PE 9 and Health and PE/Driver’s Education classes to teach students about mental health and how to seek assistance if they are worried about themselves or a friend. GCPS uses a program called “SOS: Signs of Suicide.” This program teaches students about this difficult topic and encourages them to seek help.
Thousands of schools have used SOS over the past few decades. Studies have shown that it effectively teaches students about depression and suicide while reducing the number of students’ self-reported suicide attempts.
Through the program, students learn:
- that depression is treatable, so they are encouraged to seek help
- how to identify depression and potential suicide risk in themselves or a friend
- to ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell a trusted adult) if concerned about themselves or a friend
- who they can turn to at school for help if they need it
Students will watch age-appropriate video clips and participate in a guided discussion about depression, suicide, and what to do if they are concerned about a friend. Following the video, students will complete a brief depression screening tool. This tool cannot diagnose depression but does help bring awareness to students and recommends seeking support as needed. Click HERE to view a copy of this tool, including all questions and information..
Next, students will complete a response slip, using Google Forms, which asks whether they would like to talk to an adult about any concerns. This slip inquires about the following information:
- A “yes” or “no” checkbox for the statement, “ I would like to speak with someone about myself or a friend.”
- Student name
- Homeroom teacher or counselor
School staff will conduct brief meetings with any student asking to talk within 24 hours and encourage students to seek help immediately if needed.
We encourage you to visit www.sossignsofsuicide.org/parent for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the critical messages students will learn.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s participation in this program, please contact your child’s school counselor.
Mr. Doug Getter - email@example.com
Ms. Ashton Guza - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Renee Ferrell - email@example.com