North American Journal of Psychology
Suicide, Prevention, Implementation, High school, Adolescents
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for high school aged youth. There are many suicide prevention programs available, but few are evidence-based. The Signs of Suicide (SOS) Prevention Program is one of the few youth suicide prevention programs that have shown improvement in students’ knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression, including a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts. With this being the high school’s first formal attempt at implementing a psychoeducation prevention program, they wanted to use an evidence-based program targeting a primary mental health concern – depression and suicide. One goal of the initial implementation of psychoeducation based on the SOS prevention program was to increase students’ basic knowledge and self-awareness of depression and suicide. The other goal was to assess the effectiveness of the implementation process based on recommendations from previous years. A pilot study of the SOS prevention program was implemented over three years with data collection across grades 9-12. Results showed that psychoeducation based on the SOS prevention program was effective in enhancing students’ knowledge and awareness of depression and suicide, including learning how to seek help for themselves and their peers. It also appears that the modifications to the psychoeducation program and implementation process based on recommendations from the previous pilot study years (one and two) were effective in maintaining students’ gains in the following years (two and three). Practice implications and future research considerations are also provided by integrating key themes relevant to this study within the wider context of implementing future suicide prevention programs like SOS.
Volungis, A. M. (2020). The Signs of Suicide (SOS) Prevention Program Pilot Study: High School Implementation Recommendations. North American Journal of Psychology 22(3): 455-468. https://digitalcommons.assumption.edu/psychology-faculty/21