Research - Children - Suicide
Suicide is the third leading cause of
death for teens -- behind accidents and homicides.
Researchers say about 500,000 teenagers try to kill themselves
every year, and about 5,000 go through with it. Experts say
depression is a treatable mental illness and that people can
be identified and effectively treated for the condition.
Depression is a mental state characterized by a pessimistic
sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity.
Some signs of depression include:
Sad or "blue" mood which lasts
for weeks or months
Spells of crying when a person might not even know what he
or she is crying about
Chronic fatigue of a lack of energy
Lack of enjoyment in life
SOS is a program to help prevent kids from committing suicide.
It stands for Signs Of Suicide. Experts say the program effectively
changes attitudes about suicide by emphasizing the connection
between suicide and mental illness -- particularly depression.
Screening for mental health problems is one of SOS's most
effective and important tactics. SOS teaches students how
to ACT -- acknowledge the warning signs of suicide and take
the signs seriously, always care, and tell a responsible adult.
Recent study shows that Signs of Suicide
reduced suicide attempts among teenagers by 40 percent.
SOS tries to tap into the center of social
involvement and emotional investment in peer groups. Most
importantly, SOS encourages students to ACT.
In the March 4 edition of American Journal of Public Health,
a study showed the SOS program reduced suicide attempts by
40 percent. This is the first time in 20 years that a school-based
prevention program is making a difference. The program is
designed to be easily duplicated in a variety of school settings.
SOS only takes between one and two class periods to be implemented,
and it only costs about 40 cents per student. More than 1,300
schools nationwide have implemented the program.
For more information
To learn more, contact:
University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-5385