Project Lifesaver is an award-winning program and the only one of its kind in the U.S. Project Lifesaver is a curriculum-based K-12 program that is geared toward implementing prevention techniques that will enable students to act as a first line of defense in preventing suicides among their peers.
For grades K-4: Puppets introduce the subject of loss in a comfortable and non-threatening way. The puppet characters talk about loss in many forms; through death of people and pets, divorce, moving away, etc. Children in this age group are able to relate to the loss experience of the puppets and share their feelings. Children of this age do not yet understand that death is permanent and irreversible. Neither do they have the emotional tools to deal with life's various losses. A facilitator helps the children talk about the various losses presented in each of three playlets.
For grades five and six: Students are introduced to the subject of suicide in an interactive program that encourages student participation and encourages emotional comfort with the subject matter. Some warning signs of suicide are introduced, and emphasis is on what to do and where to go for help. Each child prepares their own list of five or more people that they could go to for immediate help.
For grades seven and eight: Warning signs are emphasized and risk and risk factors are introduced. Students learn things that they personally can do to help someone they think might be suicidal and where they can go for additional help. This program is interactive with a great deal of student participation to encourage retention of the material and ease of action.
For grades nine through twelve: A no-nonsense program with emphasis on empowering students to make a difference is presented. Warning signs, risk factors and ways to help are emphasized, and skill-building is encouraged. This program is interactive with the focus on providing students with the tools they need to actually prevent suicide among their peers and affect change.