According to the most recent Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, almost 25 percent of eighth graders reported feeling depressed. Fourteen percent said they had seriously considered killing themselves. In November, the curriculum – called Look Listen Link – earned a place on the federal Best Practices Registry – the first middle-level suicide prevention curriculum in the nation to be granted that status. Look Listen Link consists of four 45-minute lessons, designed for middle-school teachers to easily embed into their health, social skills or family-oriented curricula during the school year. “I wanted the Look Listen Link curriculum taught at my school because I see firsthand the struggles that the kids have with managing their own stress and dealing with depression while at the same time not wanting to talk about it,” said Harry Brown, Mercer Island Youth and Family Services counselor, working at Islander Middle School. “I especially like that the curriculum gives practical skills that empower young people to know what to do if they are worried about a friend.”

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