Prevent Suicide: Educational Training for Awareness and Prevention

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.

Get started on our Learning Center. 

Student talking to a trusted adult

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.

How does Prevent Suicide help?

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.

Girl talking to trusted adult at the table

Do Suicide Prevention Programs Work?

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.

Creating Upstanders

115,000+ tips reported to Our crisis center hotline

Tragedies Prevented

361 Confirmed Lives Saved through Interventions

What Does This Suicide Prevention Program Include?

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:

  • is the first of its kind to provide separate content each for students, educators, and parents
  • teaches the warning signs and risk factors of suicide
  • provides expert guidance on what to do when seeing someone at risk of harming themselves
  • includes a 20-minute training video, worksheet, and resource guide to help stop suicide
  • is supported by sustainable anti-suicide campaigns and suicide awareness activities

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.

"Look for signs. Act immediately. Say Something"

How to Get Started with the Prevent Suicide Program

Register for free for the Sandy Hook Promise Learning Center. There you’ll find the full online curriculum. Still have questions? Our dedicated programs staff are also available to support you and to answer any questions. Contact us for more information.

Sources

  1. CDC: Curtin, S. C., & Heron, M. (2019). Death rates due to suicide and homicide among persons aged 10-24: United States, 2000—2017 (NCHS Data Brief No. 352). National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville. (WISQ 2019)
  2. CDC: Death Rates for Motor Vehicle Traffic Injury, Suicide, and Homicide Among Children and Adolescents aged 10–14 Years — United States, 1999–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1203.
  3. Annals of Internal Medicine
  4. University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute