Lesson Plan: Helping Friends Who Are Depressed or Suicidal

Grade Level: 6–12

Time Frame: One 45 Minute period

Subjects: Health/PE/Reading

Student Learning Objectives:

Students will make responsible decisions regarding signs of depression and/or suicide

Students will possess an understanding of the importance of communicating these signs to others

Students will demonstrate, through role playing, the skills of “listening” and “befriending”

Students will read and comprehend informational materials to develop an  understanding of suicide and prevention

RI State Standards:

Mental and Emotional Health Education Standards

GSE (5-12)

Standards: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Reading Standards: E7c


Copy of lesson plan

RI Samaritans informational flyer

Website: www.samaritansri.org / Brain Quiz

RIDE Mental and Emotional Health Instructional Outcomes

Providence Journal Article (8/26/2001)

Diversity / Differing Abilities

  • Individual decision for attendance of students who have recently experienced a death should be considered.
  • Large print/ Braille flyers when applicable
  • Sign language interpreter

Introduction/ Life Connection

Who are the Samaritans?

Have you or anyone you know had any connections to the Samaritans?


Utilize the Samaritans’ Youth and Teen brochure to cover and discuss the following topics:

Listening to the Student.

What you should say.

What signs to look for.

Can I tell someone?

Coping with pressure.

Teaching Strategies:

Large group instruction.

Possible multi-grade large group instruction

Small group instruction


Samaritans, listening, suicide, “trusted adult”, depression


Introduce and review of Providence Journal article (8/26/2001)

“Left Behind by Suicide, There’s a Safe Place to Talk”.


RI Health A Suicide Prevention Framework for Rhode Islanders ages 15-24 (Feb 2002)

RIDE Health Literacy for All Children: RI Health Education Frameworks

RIDE Comprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes

  • Health Ed Standards
  • Substance and Abuse Prevention Instructional Outcomes

Assessment / Outcome Measurement