LEADS: For Youth (Linking Education and Awareness of Depression and Suicide)


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)

LEADS: For Youth (Linking Education and Awareness of Depression and Suicide) is a curriculum for high school students in grades 9-12 that is designed to increase knowledge of depression and suicide, modify perceptions of depression and suicide, increase knowledge of suicide prevention resources, and improve intentions to engage in help-seeking behaviors. The curriculum addresses such topics as depression and its symptoms, the link between depression and suicide, the risk and protective factors associated with suicide, the warning signs of suicide, seeking help and overcoming barriers to seeking help, and school and community suicide prevention resources. By educating students about seeking help and the resources available to them, the intervention aims to empower students to get help for themselves or others.

Teachers implement the curriculum for 1 hour a day over a 3-day period in a health class or other classroom setting. The curriculum includes lecture, student-driven discussions, and activities such as a simulated blog and an email and instant messaging activity. The curriculum package includes a Teacher’s Guide, presentation materials, group and individual activities, suicide prevention resources and a template for a school suicide crisis management plan.

Designation as a “Program with Evidence of Effectiveness”

SPRC designated this intervention as a “program with evidence of effectiveness” based on its inclusion in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Outcome(s) Reviewed (Overall Quality of Research Rating-scale of 0 to 4)*

1: Knowledge of depression and suicide (1.8)
2: Perceptions of depression and suicide (1.8)
3: Knowledge of suicide prevention resources (1.8)

Read more about this program’s ratings.


* NREPP changed its review criteria in 2015. This program is a “legacy program,” meaning that it was reviewed under the pre-2015 criteria. The evidence for each outcome was reviewed and scored on a scale of 0-4, with 4 indicating the highest quality of evidence and 0 indicating very poor quality of evidence. The overall rating was based on ratings of six criteria: 1) reliability of measures, 2) validity of measures, 3) intervention fidelity, 4) missing data and attrition, 5) potential confounding variables, and 6) appropriateness of analysis. When considering programs, we recommend (a) assessing whether the specific outcomes achieved by the program are a fit for your needs; and (b) examining the strength of evidence for each outcome.

Implementation Essentials

  • Prior to training the peer team, crisis management and referral protocols should be reviewed and fully implemented and local adult advisors should be identified and trained. For guidance, see the Sources of Strength “First Things First” webpage.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 5.2: Encourage community-based settings to implement effective programs and provide education that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.