Signs of Suicide (SOS)


Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents aged 11-18.  More than 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental health disorder, most likely depression, which is treatable.  However many youth do not receive treatment.  To be proactive the Knob Noster R-VIII Public School District is seeking to raise awareness and prevention of suicide through the use of the Signs of Suicide (SOS) program at the middle and high school level (5th -12th).

The goal of the SOS program is for students to recognize the symptoms of depression and warning signs of suicide in themselves or their friends and then teach them appropriate steps to get the help and support they need.  The program utilizes a simple acronym ACT: Acknowledge that you or your friend has a serious concern, express that you Care, and Tell a trusted adult. 

With this program we strive to meet the following goals:

  • reduce the stigma associated with depression and mental illness
  • provide students with information to understand that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression
  • help students identify depression and warning signs of suicide
  • give students the tools they need to seek help and support
  • help students identify trusted adults they can turn to for help

Our counselors are prepared to deliver the SOS material in the classroom setting during the months of October and early November.  The program offers a video, classroom discussion topics and a confidential screening for depression and other risk factors associated with suicidal behavior.  On the presentation days the district will ensure that students have access to a trusted adult immediately following the program, if needed.    

If you would like more information about this program please visit the following website:

The username is: knobnostersd-par and the password is: panther2018

In the Elementary level, the focus will be on educating students on making good choices (being respectful, keeping our bodies healthy, and safe/unsafe situations) in their daily life experiences. A focus on good choices and safe behaviors will be utilized as a precursor to the SOS program. 

We see this as an opportunity to empower students, parents and the community to fearlessly engage in a difficult and sometimes very emotional conversation but one that could save a life. 

If you have questions or do not want your student to participate in this program please contact your school counselor or Deenia Hocker, Director of Student Services at 660-563-5597.