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Important note: Section III of the BPR lists programs and practices whose content has been reviewed for adherence to standards of accuracy, safety, likelihood of meeting objectives, and program design. Section III reviews do not examine evidence of effectiveness. For evaluated programs that have demonstrated positive outcomes, see Section I: Evidence-Based Programs.

Response: A Comprehensive High School-based Suicide Awareness Program (2nd Edition)

Type of Program: 
Education & Training
2012 NSSP Objectives Addessed*: 
Program Description: 

RESPONSE is a comprehensive high school-based program that increases awareness about suicide among high
school staff, students and parents. All program components are designed to heighten sensitivity to depression
and suicidal ideation, increase identification, and facilitate referral. The program also provides procedures to refer
a student who may be at-risk for suicide. Components include (1) a two-hour awareness training for staff, (2) a
four-hour student curriculum (spread across four class periods), and parent awareness materials. An
implementation assistance manual is also included for administrators. Before implementing the awareness
components, participating schools must identify key staff to serve on a suicide prevention team. Key school-based
staff should include the principal or vice-principal, a school-based RESPONSE coordinator, two "suicide
contacts" responsible for handling referrals, and a counselor. Each component of RESPONSE integrates
extensive “in the field” experience and key evaluation findings from other school-based programs. Videos for the
awareness components were developed in collaboration with an award-winning film company.


After implementation, participants should have:

  1. Increased knowledge of signs of depression and suicide.
  2. Increased understanding of attitudes and behaviors that can hinder help seeking.
  3. Increased understanding of steps to seek help for self and others.
  4. Increased knowledge of “crisis contacts” at the school for immediate help.
Implementation Essentials: 
  • Review of school or district readiness for RESPONSE (through implementation checklist).
  • In-service training for staff and faculty prior to classroom instruction.
  • Advanced training for selected staff to act as “crisis contacts” prior to classroom instruction (ASIST training is recommended; see their factsheet on the registry for more information).
Contact Information: 

Gary McConahay, PhD
Clinical Director
ColumbiaCare Services, Inc.
3587 Heathrow Way
Medford, OR 97504
Voice: 541-337-9001


School Kit $425.
Includes implementation, coordinator, and teacher manuals
with associated PowerPoint presentations and DVD’s

Additional Teacher Manual $137.50
Includes PowerPoint presentation and Never Enough DVD

Optional Parent Workshop $175.
Includes PowerPoint presentation and Parent Component

Optional Overview Presentation (plus expenses) $350.

First Posted: 
Jun 26 2007
Objective 5.2: Encourage community-based settings to implement effective programs and provide education that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.
Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.