Dear Parent / Guardian,
During this school year, The Troy Area School District and The Bradford County Department of Mental Health would like to teach students about mental health and how to seek help if they are worried about themselves or a friend. We are using a program called SOS Signs of Suicide. The program teaches students about this difficult topic and encourages them to seek help.
SOS has been used by thousands of schools for over 20 years. Studies have shown that it effectively teaches students about depression and suicide while reducing the number of students’ self-reported suicide attempts.
Through the program, students learn:
- that depression is treatable, so they are encouraged to seek help
- how to identify depression and potential suicide risk in themselves or a friend
- to ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell a trusted adult) if concerned about themselves or a friend
- who they can turn to at school for help, if they need it
Students will watch age-appropriate video clips and participate in a guided discussion about depression, suicide, and what to do if they are concerned about a friend. Following the video, students will complete a brief depression screening tool. This tool cannot provide a diagnosis of depression but does indicate whether a young person should be referred for evaluation by a mental health professional.
At the end of class, students will complete an exit slip which asks whether they would like to talk to an adult about any concerns. School staff will conduct brief meetings with any student asking to talk.
We encourage you to visit www.sossignsofsuicide.org/parent
for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn.
We are including:
- An infographic for you to reinforce the ACT message at home
- An info sheet with resources
- A list of local mental health provider resources
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s participation in this program please contact Holly Stevens at 570-297-2176 or any of our school counselors.
Mr. Brion Mrs. Stevens Mrs. Gibble Kathy Morris
School Principal School Counselor School Counselor School Social Worker