DEAR EDUCATORS,

Sadly, suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the United States.

Among high school students, 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males seriously consider committing suicide within a year period.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

As leaders in your school community, it’s important to know what research-backed programs are available to promote positive mental well-being among your students. Check out the resources below to learn more about how to support our teens!

See something your school would benefit from?

Visit the program website and talk with your administration about how to get implementation started!

Research-Backed Programs

Question, Persuade, Refer

(QPR)

Gatekeeper training that teaches students how to get help for oneself or someone else who is suicidal, as well as the common causes of suicide and the warning signs. Can be administered online or in-person.

 

Outcomes:

  • Improves knowledge of QPR 
  • Improves appraisals
  • Improves students' gatekeeper behaviors and communication with distressed peers

QPR Website

Coping and Support Training

(CAST)

12, 55-minute sessions with 6-8 students who are invited to participate and are facilitated by an adult trained to implement the CAST program. The sessions are usually offered twice per week as a pull-out program.

 

Outcomes:

  • Decreases favorable attitude toward suicide and suicidal ideation
  • Decreases depression and hopelessness
  • Decreases female anxiety & anger
  • Increases problem-solving coping and sense of personal control

CAST Website

Youth Aware of Mental Health Program

(YAM)

An interactive program for adolescents promoting increased discussion and knowledge about mental health, suicide prevention, and the development of problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence through five interactive sessions, role-playing, informational reading materials and posters for display in the classroom.

 

Outcomes:

  • Reduces suicide attempts and suicidal ideation

 

YAM Website

Signs of Suicide

A brief screening for depression and an educational curriculum that raises awareness about suicide and depression while teaching students action steps to take if they encounter a situation that requires help from a trusted adult. Can be implemented in one class period by existing faculty/staff.

 

Outcomes:

  • Decreases self-reported suicide attempts
  • Increases knowledge of depression
  • Improves adaptive attitudes about depression and suicide

Signs of Suicide Website

Sources of Strength

An ongoing comprehensive wellness program - not a one-time training event that aims to positively impact a wide range of cliques within a school or community by training peer leaders.

 

 

Outcomes:

  • Changes suicide perceptions and norms
  • Improves social connectedness
  • Improves peer leader behaviors

 

Sources of Strength Website

Comparison Table

CAST

Signs of Suicide

Sources of Strength

QPR

YAM

Research-Backed

Engages entire student population

Targets selected students of concern

Changes attitude about suicide*

Staff-led

Peer-led

One time implementation**

Continued implementation

* A change in attitude could refer to reduction in suicide attempts/ideation, improvement in communications with distressed peers, or improvement in perceptions of suicide

* * One time implementation includes programs which are implemented through one session; sessions can consist of one meeting or twelve meetings depending on the program, but the important distinction is that, unlike programs with ongoing implementation, once the session is over, there are no follow-up meetings.

Know of another awesome, research-backed program?

Tell us about it!

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