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Suicide Awareness - RESPONSE Program

Increasing awareness among high school staff, students and parents

"Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24 in the United States."

"Students have access to more identifiers in a school setting than in any other."

"Addressing depression and suicidal behavior directly and responding immediately will help reduce the risk of suicide."


RESPONSE websiteRESPONSE is a comprehensive high school-based program that increases awareness about suicide among high school staff, students and parents. All of the program components are designed to heighten sensitivity to depression and suicidal ideation, as well as offer response procedures to refer a student at risk for suicide. An effective suicide prevention program requires systemic changes that allow for sustainability. The program includes technical assistance for key staff to insure that suicide prevention efforts are sustained at your school. Suicide prevention is an ongoing effort that requires diligent maintenance.

RESPONSE is a recognized Best Practice listed with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Best Practice Registry.

RESPONSE is based on current research on effective school-based suicide prevention programs [Kalafat 2003, Lazear & Ketal 2003, Miller & DuPaul 1996, Poland & Lieberman 2002]. This program includes awareness components for staff, students and parents as well as technical implementation assistance for administration.

RESPONSE also provides sample guidelines for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. It is recommended that these guidelines be integrated into the school's crisis response plan. If a school district does not require a drafted policy for suicide prevention, a school may choose to adopt guidelines as an alternative. Regardless, the school board should be notified and presented with the guidelines and program for approval. The instruction/curriculum department at each district should also be provided with a copy of RESPONSE for review and approval.

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