RESPONSE: Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program

MODALITY: curriculum

For a comprehensive toolkit and curriculum materials, visit Upstream Suicide Prevention.


RESPONSE is a comprehensive middle and high school program that increases awareness about suicide among school staff, students and parents. All program components are designed to heighten sensitivity to depression and suicidal ideation, increase identification, and facilitate referral. The program also provides procedures to refer a student who may be at-risk for suicide. Components include (1) a two-hour awareness training for staff, (2) a four-hour student curriculum (spread across four class periods), and parent awareness materials. An implementation assistance manual is also included for administrators. Before implementing the awareness components, participating schools must identify key staff to serve on a suicide prevention team. Key school-based staff should include the principal or vice-principal, a school-based RESPONSE coordinator, two “suicide contacts” responsible for handling referrals, and a counselor. Each component of RESPONSE integrates extensive “in the field” experience and key evaluation findings from other school-based programs. Videos for the awareness components were developed in collaboration with an award-winning film company.


For a comprehensive toolkit and curriculum materials, visit Upstream Suicide Prevention.

Rubric and Standards

Mental Health Literacy Components

Decreasing stigma

Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health

Understanding how to seek help effectively

Understanding mental health disorders and their treatments

High School Learning Standards

Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health

Compare & contrast emotional, mental-behavioral illness, mental well-being and concurrent disorders

Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people

Describe laws related to minors accessing mental health care

Explain how to help someone who is thinking about attempting suicide

Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns


Program Material Cost

$440 per school or district


Classroom Curriculum


Health Classes

Grade Level(s)





1 Non Peer-Reviewed Publication

Study Types


Study Samples

1878 US High School Students

Major Findings

It is promising that youth receiving RESPONSE had more positive prevention attitudes, prevention self-efficacy, and knowledge. It is also important that RESPONSE youth reported reduced suicidal ideation.

Published Studies