suicide awareness & prevention
SOS: Student Services teams with the Health & Physical Education department to teach the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program during Health & Physical Education classes as a part of the NC Essential Standards (Mental and Emotional Health). The class is typically taught during the month of December.
SOS is an award-winning, nationally recognized program designed for middle and high school-age students. The program teaches students how to identify the symptoms of depression and suicidality in themselves or their friends, and encourages help-seeking through the use of the ACT® technique (Acknowledge, Care, Tell).
The SOS High School Program is the only school-based suicide prevention program listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts.
* To help students understand that depression is a treatable illness.
* To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression.
* To train students in how to identify serious depression and potential suicidal thoughts in a friend.
* To impress upon teens that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns.
Warning Signs for Suicide:
- Verbal or written threats of suicide
- Changes in personality
- Previous suicide attempts
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in eating habits
- Drop in school performance
- Use of drugs or alcohol
- Giving away possessions
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Themes of suicide, death, or depression in essays
- Withdrawal from family, friends, or prior or artwork interests
- For more detailed information, click here
- Listen and express concern in a nonjudgmental way.
- Show that you care.
- Take action—get them connected with professional help.
- Take suicide threats seriously.
- Ask questions openly (“Do you have a plan to hurt yourself?”).
- Stay with them until you can get them with an adult or a professional. (“Will you talk to someone who can help?”). If you are at school, see a staff member immediately and they will connect you with Student Services. If it is outside school hours, please see below (Resources that can help).
- If you are worried about a comment a friend made on Facebook, click here to learn how to report suicidal users on Facebook
What not to do:
- Do not keep threats a secret.
- Do not leave the friend alone.
- Do not think this is a joke.
- Do not try to be a therapist. Tell a trusted adult.
Resources that can help:
SOS Parent Newsletter in English and Spanish
SOS Student Newsletter
Hopeline: (919) 231-4525 or (877) 235-4525 (24-hour crisis counseling and suicide intervention)
Holly Hill Hospital: (919) 250-7114 (24-hour emergency mental health services)
National Suicide Hotline/Lifeline: 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255 (24 hours)
Strategic Behavioral Health Center: (919) 800-4400 (Emergency mental health services for people ages 12-17)
Trevor Hotline: 866-488-7386 (Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24)
UNC Crisis & Assessment (in Raleigh at WakeBrook): (919) 250-1260 (Provides immediate attention for individuals needing assistance for a crisis related to mental illness, development disability, and/or a substance abuse disorder.)
American Association of Suicidology
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
It's OK to Ask...about Suicide
Second ACT: As counselors work with seniors on knowing how to access mental-health resources after graduation, and the importance of remembering A-C-T (acknowledge, care, treatment), here are helpful resources for young adults.