Programs – SOS Signs of Suicide®

What is the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program?
The SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program is an evidence-based, cost-effective program of suicide prevention and mental health screening for secondary schools. This program is easily implemented by existing school personnel during one or two school periods.

SOS empowers students by:

  • Helping teens understand the important connection between undiagnosed, untreated mental illness and suicide
  • Teaching teens the Signs of Suicide
  • Outlining action steps for dealing with these signs as a mental health emergency

The SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program is the only school-based suicide prevention program to:

  • Reduction (by 40%) in self-reported suicide attempts in a randomized controlled study
    -BMC Public Health, July 2007
  • Selected by SAMHSA for its National Registry of Effective Programs and Practices (NREPP) that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts

What is the goal of the SOS Program?
The SOS Program teaches teens that depression is a treatable illness and empowers them to respond to a potential suicide of a friend or family member by using the ACT technique:

  • Acknowledge that you or a friend maybe depressed or suicidal
  • Respond with Care
  • Tell a trusted adult

How is the SOS Program implemented?
School personnel use the materials provided by the SOS Program. The main components include:

    1. DVD and Discussion Guide
      This is the primary teaching tool, which describes the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide. It illustrates the right and wrong way for students to respond. View the trailer from the new Friends for Life High School DVD
    2. Depression Screening
      Both the high school and middle school program utilize the Brief Screen for Adolescent Depression (BSAD), which helps school staff to identify students that may potentially have depression and subsequently link them to needed resources.

Click here to learn about the SOS programming that Elyssa’s Mission brings to Middle and High schools as well as how we support schools with implementation

Contact Jodie, Director of Education or Katie Baker, Program Director to get SOS into your school by clicking on the button below:




  1. Opportunity for Consultation with School Professional          Students are encouraged to speak with a school professional if they are concerned about themselves or a friend.
  2. Educational Materials for School Staff and Parents        The program also provides education materials for school personnel and parents. For more information on program visit