Suicide is a leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 1. In fact, suicide death rates for students as young as 5-years-old have skyrocketed in recent years.2 Gun violence prevention is a factor as well, with 9 out of ten suicide attempts with a firearm resulting in fatality.3
Our own crisis counsellors reported a rise in student reports of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. They’ve increased from 7% of all tips to 18% since the start of the COVID pandemic. We must do more to stop suicide. That’s why we urgently launched Prevent Suicide.
If you are experiencing a suicidal crisis and are looking for immediate help, please dial 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or call 911.
As part of the award-winning Say Something program, Prevent Suicide empowers members of your school community with training and resources to be upstanders to prevent a tragedy. This school-based suicide awareness and education program also provides anti-suicide toolkits for teachers. Importantly, it also features distance learning, remote teaching options for suicide awareness and prevention, allowing for synchronous and asynchronous anti-suicide courses for schools.
Above all, the program helps save lives by teaching students the warning signs of suicide and encouraging them to immediately say something to a trusted adult if they notice these warning signs in themselves or a peer. Say Something: Prevent Suicide also teaches educators and parents how to look for warning signs and how to get help for a child who reports suicidal thoughts in themselves or a friend.
So that there are no obstacles to participation, Prevent Suicide is free, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. It is available at no-cost for schools and organizations across the United States.
Research has shown that evidence-based suicide prevention programs4 and school threat assessment teams have been effective in reducing and helping to stop suicide. Importantly, interpersonal violence, bullying and aggression have also declined as a result of these programs. They have also lowered expulsion and suspension rates, showing increased harmony in school.
The research-based Prevent Suicide program was developed in consultation with our advisory board. The board includes Jonathan Singer, Ph.D., LCSW, the past president of the American Association for Suicidology and host of The Social Work Podcast and Cheryl King, Ph.D., an expert in suicide risk factors, and youth suicide prevention and intervention programs, and other leading minds in suicide prevention.
Prevent Suicide offers a flexible educational approach. You can use it for school-based, classroom, virtual, distance, online or remote learning. Depending on your needs, these anti-suicide programs can be delivered synchronously or asynchronously.
The suicide prevention curriculum includes custom, developmentally-appropriate training modules for students, educators and parents. Prevent Suicide is a research-based course that expands on the proven Say Something program and:
Key takeaways of the program for students include learning warning signs, how to talk to a peer, and what to do to get help. Adults will walk away with the understanding of warning signs and risk factors, how to talk to young people, and how to form a community of support.