Passaic Valley Begins New Suicide Prevention Campaign as Part of Sandy Hook Promise
7 February 2020
This school year, Passaic Valley is implementing a Signs of Suicide (SOS) program through the Sandy Hook Promise organization. Information is available through the following link and parent newsletter.
The SOS program is designed to “train students and staff to recognize the signs and symptoms of people who are in need of help,” according to Guidance Counselor Danielle Vigilante. ”If students are educated about the signs to look for, they will be more empowered to help their peers.”
To implement the new program, Ms. Vigilante, along with Student Assistance Coordinator Ms. Kelly Morris and Phys. Ed and Health Teacher Cheryl Grande, went into the twelfth-grade health classrooms to speak to the students. The goal was to “teach students about identifying warning signs and what to look for, but also to discuss what to do once a student recognizes these signs,” said Ms. Morris.
They presented a video to the students followed by a group discussion. They used the acronym ACT during the lesson for students to conceptualize the steps to take once identifying warning signs in their peers. ACT stands for: Acknowledge, Care, and Tell a Trusted Adult. Ms. Vigilante, Ms. Morris, and Ms. Grande will also be going into the freshman health classes during the fourth marking period, and into the health classes next school year to continue to guide students through the same lesson.
Passaic Valley has been participating in Sandy Hook Promise events since last February. The Sandy Hook Promise foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded by family members of those who lost their lives in the tragedy of the Sandy Hook school shooting. The first event Passaic Valley participated in was Say Something Week last February, followed by Start with Hello Week at the beginning of this year. The school will continue its involvement with the SOS program and the upcoming Say Something Week during the first week of March.