Suicide prevention program gains attention
Teen suicide is a serious problem in the United States. Statistics make it clear that this is an issue that needs special attention:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 to 24.
- Among young adults, ages 15 to 24 years old, there are approximately 200 attempts for every one completed suicide.
- In 2007, 14.5% of high school students had seriously considered suicide.
- Over 90% of children and adolescents who die by suicide have at least one major psychiatric disorder.
As part of its adolescent services, Linden Oaks is working with local schools to provide suicide debriefing and Signs of Suicide (SOS), a proactive prevention program designed to reduce the incidence of suicide among youth.
Developed by Screening for Mental Health Inc., SOS is the only school-based suicide prevention program selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for its national registry of evidence-based programs and practices that addresses the risk of suicide and depression, while reducing suicide attempts. The program teaches universal prevention strategies and action steps to help someone in need.
“Plainfield East has used aspects of the SOS curriculum in our freshman health class. The practical information provided by SOS coupled with assistance from our peer mentors, has made a significant impact on our freshman students,” says Jill Sperling, associate principal of student services, Plainfield East High School.
SOS training is available at the middle school and high school levels, and includes staff, student and parent trainings. It can be taught in a classroom setting, parent seminar or large assembly.
To date, Linden Oaks has implemented SOS to 350 middle school students, 150 middle school faculty, 600 high school students and 100 high school faculty. As a result of the training, 37 students and 35 faculty members requested additional help.
In addition to the SOS program, staff at Linden Oaks provided suicide debriefing for several local high schools including Bolingbrook, Yorkville, Naperville North and West Aurora.
Linden Oaks is part of the Valley View School District Suicide Prevention Committee and serves as a consultant for the crisis intervention team at several school districts.
For more information about SOS or suicide debriefing services at Linden Oaks, please contact Katie McGuine, community liaison for Linden Oaks at Edward, (630) 527-5335.