Our First Training Signs of Suicide® (SOS)
The Makayla fund would like to the thank Screening for Mental Health (http://mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/youth) for putting on a Signs of Suicide® (SOS) Middle School & High School Prevention Program training that the Makayla Fund sponsored back on February 5, 2015 at the Emerald Hall in Abington, MA, for 35+ schools Training Attendees.
Information on the Training
The SOS Program helps you and other school staff members facilitate an open discussion with students about mental health and identify those students who need further evaluation.
Through research we have learned that a positive relationship with an adult is one of the most critical factors in preventing student violence, suicide, and bullying. The SOS Program encourages students to identify a trusted adult in their life such as a school counselor, teacher, or coach, and to turn to them when in need.
Also included in the SOS Program is a validated screening tool to assess students for the signs of depression. The screening tool is not diagnostic but indicates the presence of symptoms consistent with depression. While we highly recommend using both the screening tool and the educational video components, schools are not required to use the screening tool. In a randomized controlled study, the SOS program showed a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40% (BMC Public Health, July 2007). The 40% reduction in suicide attempts is a result of schools using both the screening and education components.
Screening for Mental Health supports schools through the implementation process with as much, or as little, help as is necessary. Beyond implementing the program, SMH also provides free webinars, program support emails, and newsletters about advances in the field. The organization also truly sees its school-based implementers as partners and relies on suggestions and feedback to make improvements each year. If you have any questions or comments about the program, email Youth@MentalHealthScreening.org or call 781-239-0071.