An outcome evaluation of the SOS Suicide Prevention Program

Am J Public Health. 2004 Mar;94(3):446-51. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.3.446.


Objectives: We examined the effectiveness of the Signs of Suicide (SOS) prevention program in reducing suicidal behavior.

Methods: Twenty-one hundred students in 5 high schools in Columbus, Ga, and Hartford, Conn, were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Self-administered questionnaires were completed by students in both groups approximately 3 months after program implementation.

Results: Significantly lower rates of suicide attempts and greater knowledge and more adaptive attitudes about depression and suicide were observed among students in the intervention group. The modest changes in knowledge and attitudes partially explained the beneficial effects of the program.

Conclusions: SOS is the first school-based suicide prevention program to demonstrate significant reductions in self-reported suicide attempts.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Connecticut
  • Depression
  • Georgia
  • Health Education / methods
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Program Evaluation
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Suicide / ethnology
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires