School ‘EMPATHY’ program helps youth cope with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts

Silverstone, a professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Psychiatry, is the creator of EMPATHY, a pilot program that has been used in Red Deer Public Schools since 2013 to help lessen incidents of youth anxiety, depression and suicide.

Now, new research published in the May edition of the journal PLOS ONE gives definitive proof the program is having an impact


“We have had a significant decrease in suicidal thinking

. Kids are not thinking about harming themselves as much. It’s quite profound,” says Silverstone. “We’ve also had a decrease in the entire school ratings for anxiety and depression, and this occurred in every school, in every grade.”