Suicide is the second leading cause of death among school age youth in the United States (CDC 2014). In 2015, nearly 18% of high school students seriously considered suicide, 14% made a suicide plan, and 9% attempted suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause across all age groups. As such, prevention efforts are essential.
The Cheyenne Mountain School District utilizes the Signs of Suicide (SOS) curriculum for 8th and and 9th graders. The main teaching tool of the SOS program is a video that teaches students how to identify symptoms of depression in themselves or their friends and encourages help-seeking. The program’s primary objectives are to educate teens and to equip them to respond appropriately. SOS is an action-orientated approach instructing students how to ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell).
The ACT message is embedded in the SOS program.