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

Setting 
Schools
Type of Program 
Education & Training
2001 NSSP Goals Addressed 
3.1, 3.2, 5.2, 7.5 (2012 Goals)
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 schoolbased
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.

Objectives 

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
Email: gmcconahay@columbiacare.org
Website: www.columbiacare.org

Costs 

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

DVD
Optional Overview Presentation (plus expenses) $350.

First Posted 
Jun 26 2007

*The content of practices listed in Section III (Adherence to Standards) of the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry address specific goals of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and have been reviewed by a panel of three suicide prevention experts and found to meet standards of accuracy, safety, and programmatic guidelines. Practices were not reviewed for evidence of effectiveness. Additional information about the Best Practices Registry can be found at www.sprc.org.

The Best Practices Registry is supported by a grant (1 U79 SM059945) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). No official endorsement by SAMHSA or DHHS for the information in this document is intended or should be inferred.