The Suicide Education and Awareness (SEA) Program provides free suicide prevention education to students (Grade 8–12) and staff throughout the Greater Victoria school system. These classroom workshops support meaningful conversations and help break the stigma and silence surrounding suicide and mental health. Students learn about the warning signs of suicide, about resources that are available to them and how to help themselves and others. This program has been available to middle and high school students throughout School District’s 61, 62, 63 and 64 since 1996.

Last year (2014–2015) the SEA Program reached a total of 3300 students. Of those:

  • 1 in 12 students identified themselves as struggling 
  • 282 youth connected with a school counsellor

The presentation focuses on recognizing signs of struggle, empowering youth to connect with supportive resources:

  • 69% of students learned tools to help themselves
  • 85% of students learned techniques to help others

Additionally, these numbers do not capture the many students who reach out to friends, teachers, counsellors and other resources in the days that follow our presentation.

The demand for our presentation increases significantly every year. By presenting this education NEED2 expands the safety network for youth throughout our community.

Schools that adopt the SEA Program agree to:

  • Offer the SEA presentation to every student in one particular grade on a class-by-class basis (usually Grade 8 and Grade 10)
  • Provide staff the opportunity to receive the SEA presentation (generally during a staff meeting/Professional Development Day)
  • Have teachers, counsellors and students complete a post survey after the presentation

Ideally, all students in Victoria have the opportunity to experience the workshop twice before graduation.

Anyone who interacts with youth can benefit from identifying and understanding the signs of depression and suicide. Awareness and a willingness to talk about depression and suicide saves lives. Adult workshops are perfect for reaching Parent Advisory Councils and could be a lifesaving component of a Professional Development Day curriculum. NEED2 also offers ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) which is a comprehensive skills training for anyone interested in learning to support those struggling with thoughts of suicide.

If you have any questions please contact us at sea@need2.ca.

What people are saying about the program…