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Signs of Suicide
Many times, the warning signs of suicide go unnoticed. Most often, knowing how to interpret and respond to these warning signs is foreign to parents, friends, school staff and community members.
Research shows, "persons who are informed about youth suicide are more apt to have a positive impact on students than those who are not educated."
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Nebraska youth age 15 - 19, exceeding the national average. On follow-up with parents whose children had attempted suicide, 86% reported they had no forewarning. Equally as important is the finding that "kids tell kids" more than they tell anyone else.
In the 2008-2009 school year Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) began a suicide prevention education program called Signs of Suicide (SOS). This is a suicide prevention program for middle level and high schools. SOS highlights the relationship between depression and suicide, and educates students, staff and parents by teaching how to recognize depression, as well as how to respond to a youth considering suicide.
The SOS program teaches teens, staff and parents 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 the signs of suicide, respond with Care, and Tell a responsible adult.