LCPS Suicide Prevention Program
The teen years are often a roller-coaster ride of emotions with this time being especially susceptible to wide variations in mood and risky behaviors. It is easy to misread depression as normal adolescent turmoil; however, depression appears to be occurring at a much earlier age, and the past decade has seen teen suicide rates double. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10 to 19, and there are often warning signs that are overlooked.
The Loudoun County Public Schools' Depression Awareness and Suicide Prevention program is based on the SOS Signs of Suicide® High School Prevention Program (http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org), which is the only evidenced-based program that has shown a 40% reduction in self-reported suicide attempts. Through classroom instruction and an educational video (Friends for Life), students are taught to identify the signs of depression, suicidality, and self-injury in themselves and their peers and to take help-seeking actions using the simple and easy-to-remember ACT® (Acknowledge-Care-Tell) technique. The program is implemented by LCPS school psychologists, school social workers, and school counselors in all high schools.