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Suicide Awareness - RESPONSE Program

"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 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.

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

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 also provides sample guidelines (see Resources and Tools on this page) 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.


Program Summary

Complete Overview (pdf)
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.

Resources and Tools

Video Clips

The Never Enough student and inservice videos were developed in collaboration with OutreachArts and Kirk D. Wolfe, MD. Both are available in the RESPONSE school kit as part of the RESPONSE program. OutreachArts, Inc. is a nationally recognized educational film company that works with various non-profits and their funders to help provide an innovative educational approach to help increase awareness about crucial health and social issues.

    Issue: Teen Suicide
    Audience: Middle/High School students & their families.
    View video clip at
    Issue: Teen Suicide
    Audience: Middle/High School educators.
    View video clip at
    Issue: Teen Suicide
    Audience: Parents.
    View video clip at


PDF file: What every teacher should know about preventing youth suicideLo que todo maestro debe saber para prevenir el suicidio de jóvenes


What Every Teacher Should Know About Preventing Youth Suicide
Brochures to help teachers, parents, and adolescents prevent youth suicide are available in English and Spanish.

As a teacher, you play a crucial role in the early recognition and referral of students who may be depressed. Knowing what to look for and what to do could mean the difference between life and death for a student close to you.

Youth Suicide Prevention Intervention & Postvention Guidelines

School Guidelines

Youth Suicide Prevention Intervention & Postvention Guidelines (pdf)

A Resource for School Personnel
These suicide prevention, intervention and postvention guidelines are designed for schools to use within existing protocols to assist at-risk students and intervene appropriately in a suicide related crisis. School Boards and school personnel may choose to implement additional supportive measures to fit the specific needs of an individual school community. The purpose of these guidelines is to assist school administrators in their planning. The guidelines do not constitute legal advice, nor are they intended to do so.

Developed by The Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program - A Program of Governor Angus S. King, Jr. and the Maine Children's Cabinet (May 2002)
Modified for Oregon by Jill Hollingsworth, MA - Looking Glass Youth and Family Services (June 2003)

State Suicide Prevention Plan

State Plan

The Oregon Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention: A Call To Action
The RESPONSE Program is part of Oregon's effort to reduce death and injury due to youth suicidal behavior and helps implement Strategy #3 (Educate Youth and Young Adults about Suicide Prevention) of the state plan.