SPEA, located in Cleveland, Ohio, teaches teens to be the “first line of defense” in preventing suicide, since teens who make a plan to end their life tell a friend. SPEA has delivered its proven program, Recognizing Teen Depression and Preventing Suicide, to more than 100,000 students since December 2000 and currently serves 120 Northeast Ohio high schools. SPEA’s professional instructors teach teens to identify peers who may be suffering from major depression or may be at risk of suicide; how to respond; and where to refer. Self-referral is also encouraged.
Their goal is to cause at-risk students to seek and receive treatment from a mental health professional, as treatment is life altering and often lifesaving.