The SOS Program 

The adolescent years are marked by a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It is easy to misread depression as normal adolescent turmoil; however, depression (among the most common of mental illnesses) appears to be occurring at a much earlier age. Depression – which is treatable – is a leading risk factor for suicide.


In an effort to continually and proactively address these issues, Wachusett Regional High School provides depression awareness and suicide prevention training as part of the SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program each school year. The Signs of Suicide Program is a school-based suicide prevention program listed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts. 


Our goals in offering this program are straightforward:

  • To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness

  • To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as the result of untreated depression

  • To provide students training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicidality in themselves or a friend

  • To impress upon youth that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns

  • To help students know whom in the school they can turn to for help, if they need it


Each year, freshman students will be trained in the SOS Program during Freshman Seminar class. Additionally, our sophomore students will receive a refresher  SOS lesson in Health & Wellness class. These lessons will be a continuation of the program our students received in Middle School. The freshman SOS lesson includes the Signs of Suicide Presentation and the completion of a screener to assist in identifying students who may benefit from a referral to a healthcare professional for further support., whereas sophomore students will be asked to indicate if they would like to speak with someone for further discussion after the presentation. Students who go through the SOS Program will learn what to do when they encounter a difficult situation where student safety is at risk. Our counseling staff is well equipped to answer any questions that arise during and after these presentations and support all students throughout this programming. 

Parent/Guardian Resources

We invite parents/guardians to review these resources to learn more about the SOS Program and see how you can support your student’s mental health at home. 

 SOS Parent Training Slide Deck - English

SOS Parent Training Slide Deck - Spanish

SOS Parent Handout - English

SOS Parent Handout - Spanish

SOS Infographic - English

SOS Infographic - Spanish