Jan 312014

Rebecca Davis talks to TADS workshop presenting SOS -- Signs of Suicide to area educators

Rebecca Davis talks to area educators at SOS — Signs of Suicide workshop presented by TADS

More than 120 educators from all over Massachusetts attended one of two day-long SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program workshops this week, sponsored by Groton-based Teenage Anxiety and Depression Solutions (TADS). Rebecca Davis, the Youth Programs Manager at Screening for Mental Health, the company that provides a mental health hotline for TADS, directed the training.

Three women addressed the audience each morning, sharing their experience of losing a loved one to suicide: Barbara Whitcomb, of Littleton, lost her son, Bryan, in 2000; Stephanie Boczenowski Emmons lost her brother, Jeffrey, in 2009; and Pamela Bohne lost her son, Stephen, in 2012.

Davis said, “Clearly, there is a need to bring youth suicide prevention training into our communities. It was wonderful to have such an engaged, enthusiastic group of school staff over these two days. They were a wonderful audience and the students in their communities will benefit greatly.”

This is the 5th year that TADS has invited educators to Groton for this training. This year the workshop was expanded from one to two days to accommodate the growing need for mental health training. The training was held at the Groton Pool and Golf Center and breakfast was provided by Groton caterer Joanne Csaplar. Funding for the program was provided, in part, with a grant from the Groton-Pepperell Rotary. Several Rotarian club member volunteered their time to help organize the event.

Rebecca Davis, of Screening for Mental Health

Rebecca Davis, of Screening for Mental Health

Locally, educators from Ayer-Shirley, North Middlesex, Francis Parker Essential Charter, Nashoba Valley Technical High School, and Lawrence Academy attended. The SOS — Signs of Suicide training was provided by Wellesley-based Screening for Mental Health. Signs of Suicide is an award-winning, nationally recognized program designed for middle and high school students. The program teaches students how to identify the symptoms of depression and suicidality in themselves or their friends, and encourages help-seeking through the use of the ACT® technique (Acknowledge, Care, Tell).

Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH) is dedicated to promoting the improvement of mental health by providing the public with education, screening, and treatment resources. SMH pioneered the concept of large-scale mental health screening and education programs in 1991, with its flagship program, National Depression Screening Day (NDSD). SMH programs—provided both in-person and online—educate, raise awareness, and screen individuals for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, alcohol use disorders, and suicide.

For more information about TADS, visit their web site (www.tadsma.org) or Facebook page (TADS – Teenage Anxiety & Depression Solutions), or contact TADS founder, Steve Boczenowski at boczeno@gmail.com.