Elyssa’s Mission funds and implements the evidence-based SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program in approximately 120 Chicagoland middle and high schools through our partnership with Screening for Mental Health, Inc. We support the implementation of the SOS program by providing a professional staff member who educates and trains select personnel. We assist with all components of the SOS program including planning, training, teaching and follow-up. We provide ongoing support and program materials to our partnering schools year after year, always free-of-cost!!!
We would love to work with your school too! We know you have questions, and our SOS program experts are here to answer them. Please contact us at any time! In the meantime, Elyssa’s Mission responds to some common questions from incoming schools:
Q: I’d like to learn more about the SOS program but not sure yet that it is a good fit for my school. Can someone from Elyssa’s Mission meet with my team to give us more information?
A: Absolutely! We generally start with a phone call, just to offer some preliminary information and find out a little bit about you. We can then schedule an informational meeting (generally lasting about 45 minutes) with you and interested colleagues. We ask that an administrator attends at least part of this initial meeting, as their approval of the program is required.
Q: Is there any cost to the program?
A: One of the main benefits to partnering with Elyssa’s Mission is that we fund all costs associated with the program. This includes the cost of all program materials (a value of approximately $500) as well as the ongoing hands-on support provided by our program staff. Elyssa’s Mission continues to support partnering schools with both materials and hands-on assistance year after year (always free-of-cost to schools).
Q: Are there any requirements for schools to partner with Elyssa’s Mission?
A: A prerequisite for partnership is administrator approval; for this reason we require that an administrator attends our introductory meeting at the school. Once a partnership has been initiated, we impart three basic requirements upon schools:
- The school agrees to implement the core components of the SOS program in order to maintain the integrity of the program
- The school agrees to administer our true-false pre- and post-tests to students (which we will then grade and analyze as a benefit to the school!)
- The school agrees to complete a brief follow-up survey regarding their program outcomes
These requirements are minimal yet essential to both program success and Elyssa’s Mission’s ability to sustain our preventative efforts. We only ask of schools what is absolutely necessary.
Q: Once we decide to partner with Elyssa’s Mission and implement the SOS program, what happens next?
A: The next step is setting up a planning meeting with the designated SOS liaison(s); the school’s proposed timeline for implementation will determine when this planning meeting should take place (generally 4-6 weeks beforehand). At this meeting, which generally only takes about an hour, we will walk you through the entire process and ensure your readiness for your SOS program day(s). We will further make arrangements for any needed trainings for staff and/or parents (which we will facilitate for you!).
Q: Are there any geographical restrictions?
A: Elyssa’s Mission currently partners with schools located in 8 counties and spanning across more than 55 suburbs. Because our goal is to provide partnering schools with hands-on support, we generally look to partner with schools that we can drive to within a “reasonable” time frame (90 minutes or less). That being said, we have never turned an Illinois school away that is interested in suicide prevention, and are willing to make all possible accommodations for motivated schools.