Freshmen participate in suicide prevention program

Shreya Thakkar

News Editor

As a junior in high school, Summer’s parents got divorced. She then had to move in with her mom, who, after a while, didn’t want her, and then ended up living with her dad. Feeling neglected, she started doing drugs, and her grades started dropping. Friends noticed these signs, and made sure she got the help she needed. Now on medication for depression, she lives a healthy life.

True stories like these were told to all freshmen during a Signs of Suicide (SOS) prevention program session that they were required to attend during their P.E periods on Nov. 5. The program is geared toward teaching high school students how to identify symptoms of depression and suicide in themselves and their friends. It also encourages students to seek help using the “ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell technique.)”

In a research study conducted by BMC Public Health in July of 2007, the SOS program showed a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40 percent.

The SOS program was introduced to freshmen by their counselors.

Prospect first adapted this program in 2010 and was introduced to it when Rolling Meadows did it for several years before, so Prospect decided to try it and it then became a district-wide program.

Colleen Carroll, Guidance Counselor and Co-organizer of SOS along with Psychologist Selby Roth, believes that the program is very beneficial and they see results.

“Each year we’ve done it, we’ve had students that we had found out about afterward that we wanted to talk with,” Carroll said.

Freshman Amy Lee believes that the 50 minute session was helpful.

“Now we know what to do,” Lee said. “Instead of [brushing an issue off], we can actually take charge and tell someone about [the problem].”