Earlier this winter, Oliver W. Winch Middle School counselor Brian Mockry presented the mental health awareness program SOS: Signs of Suicide, to seventh-grade students.
The presentation included a video that discussed signs of depression and potential suicidal ideation, a counselor-led discussion about recognizing mental health problems in peers and a student self-screening that concluded the program.
With the rapid emotional and social growth that takes place in middle school, this program gave counselors a critical opportunity to help students advocate for themselves and/or friends and classmates.
As a follow-up, when students were confidentially identified through this presentation, Mr. Mockry met with them to assess their risk and discuss their overall concerns. Parents were often contacted and support and counseling has been offered for those who needed it.
As a result of the SOS program, Mr. Mockry followed up with almost 40 seventh-graders about mental health concerns. In addition, seventh-grade students have reported being more cognizant of the signs of depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts in their peers than they had before the presentation.
Category: Winch MS