GPMS School Counseling Department

March Newsletter

Signs Of Suicide Prevention Program (SOS)

In January 2020, the GPMS Student Service Department presented the Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (SOS), to all of our 7th grade students at the Park. Prince William County Schools offers depression awareness and suicide prevention training to all of our students. The presentation encouraged students to seek help if they are concerned about themselves or a friend. The SOS program is one of the only youth suicide prevention programs that has demonstrated an improvement in student's knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide risk and depression. The presentation consisted of viewing an SOS video that encouraged our students to use ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell) whenever they become concerned about themselves or anyone else.

Our goals in participating in this program were straightforward:

  • to help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness
  • to explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression
  • to provide students training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicidality in themselves or a friend
  • to impress upon youth that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns
  • to help students know whom in the school they can turn to for help, if they need it.

Below is a link to the SOS Parent Portal. This portal will allow you as a parent to review the materials and topics we will cover in our screening and will also connect you with resources and educational materials related to adolescent mental health issues.

Parent Login Information


Username: pwcs-par

Password: screening

This month the School Counseling Department will work with our 6th graders on the following topics:

  • Identifying the difference between sadness and depression
  • Learning that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression
  • Learn positive coping strategies

The Counseling staff will also spend time doing a reminder lesson on the SOS (Signs Of Suicide) as well as how to use ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell) with our 7th and 8th graders at the Park.

If you do Not want your child to participate in the SOS Program in school, please contact Mrs. Xantus, Director of School Counseling, via email If we do not hear from you, we will assume your child has permission to participate in this program.

Lisa B. Xantus, Director of the School Counseling Department