LEADS: For Youth Suicide Prevention

Linking Education and Awareness for Depression and Suicide (LEADS) for Youth is a evidence-based suicide prevention curriculum designed for high schools. LEADS for Youth is an informative and interactive opportunity for students and teachers to increase knowledge and awareness of depression and suicide.

What is LEADS? 

LEADS is intended for students in grades 9-12 and creates opportunities for conversations within the classroom around suicide and depression and the stigma surrounding suicide. Included in the curriculum is a Teacher’s Guide, group and individual activities, suicide prevention resources and a template for a school suicide crisis management plan.

This three hour curriculum was designed to incorporate both lecture and classroom discussions. At the beginning of each lesson you will find a comprehensive outline, including topics to discuss and materials necessary for the lesson. Each lesson is accompanied with a short presentation, available as PowerPoint or handouts, whichever suits the needs of your classroom most appropriately. Additional activities for each lesson are also available including a post-test which may be used at the end of the curriculum if you choose to take a grade for this unit. Here is a sample of Day 1 and Day 2 schedules for the LEADS curriculum.

The curriculum focuses on signs and symptoms of depression, identification of warning signs of suicide and barriers and benefits to seeking help. LEADS emphasizes linking students and teachers to school and community resources and empowering students to get help for themselves or for others. Upon completion of LEADS: for Youth, students will gain the following:

  • Increased knowledge of depression, depression symptoms, and facts about suicide.
  • Increased ability to recognize risk factors and protective factors for suicide and
    suicide warning signs.
  • Increased ability to identify school and community resources.
  • Increased knowledge and skills about how to seek help for self or a friend and how to
    overcome barriers to help-seeking.


How to Purchase LEADS

LEADS: for Youth is available in an online or jump drive format. The cost of the program is $125 per license, which includes all program materials. Additional technical assistance is available, upon request. Please email or call at 952-946-7998 to purchase.

Development of LEADS

SAVE has a long history of working with Minnesota schools to prevent the tragedy of youth suicide, making it an ideal organization to undertake the development of a new school-based suicide prevention curriculum.

For the past ten years, SAVE has trained volunteer presenters who have gone into Minnesota classrooms and talked about risk and protective factors and warning signs of suicide. LEADS was generated from the experiences of those volunteers, students and teachers who have participated in the presentations.

LEADS was developed using a rigorous process, which included student and teacher focus groups, an online teacher survey, and a thorough review of suicide prevention research literature. SAVE also worked closely with several leading experts in the field of suicide prevention. Experts consulted on program content, design, and current best practices for school based programs.

Best Practice Accreditation

LEADS is a recognized best practice with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). The listing for LEADS in the Best Practices Registry can be found at the SPRC website sprc.org. An Executive Summary of the evaluation of LEADS by the Wilder Foundation is available for your review.