TO: Freshman Parents/Guardians
FROM: Joseph J. Occhino
DATE: May 5, 2022
SUBJECT: Signs of Suicide
LINKS (1): www.sossignsofsuicide.
During this challenging year, school staff are working to teach students about mental health and how to seek help if they are worried about themselves or a friend. We are using a program called Signs of Suicide (SOS), which teaches students about this difficult topic and encourages them to seek help.
SOS has been used by thousands of schools 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; and
- who they can turn to at school for help, if they need it.
Over the next month, students will collaborate in small group settings with their Physical Education teachers along with a school counselor. They 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 response slip which asks whether they would like to talk to an adult about any concerns. The wellness staff will conduct brief meetings with any student asking to talk.
We encourage you to visit www.sossignsofsuicide.
org/parent for information on warning signs for youth suicide prevention, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn.
If you have any questions or concerns about your student’s participation in this program, please contact Dr. Jessica Verdicchio, Supervisor of Wellness & Equity, at verdicchij@northernhighlands.
Joseph J. Occhino
Northern Highlands Reg. HS NHRHS