Student Suicide Prevention Shows Results

Attempts declined by 40 percent where progam was used

TUESDAY, March 9, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Suicide attempts declined by 40 percent among high school students exposed to the SOS High School Suicide Prevention Program, says a study in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

SOS, a program of the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health Inc., is the first school-based suicide prevention program to show a reduction in suicidal behavior in a randomized, controlled study.

It included 2,100 students at five schools in Hartford, Conn., and Columbus, Ga. As well as a reduction in attempted suicides, students enrolled in SOS showed a greater knowledge of, and more adaptive attitudes about, depression and suicide, the study found.

SOS combines two suicide prevention strategies -- depression screening and education about suicide and mental illness -- into a single program.

Since 2000, the SOS program has been implemented in more than 1,300 schools in the United States. The cost to schools is less than 40 cents per student.

More information

The National Mental Health Association has more about suicide.

SOURCE: Screening for Mental Health Inc., news release, March 2004
Consumer News