SUICIDE by ewghwehws



   The permanent
    solution to a
 temporary problem
Explore myths that stop us from dealing effectively
 with suicide.
Review verbal & situational warning signs (“red
 flags”) of teens who are thinking of suicide.
Understand the extreme importance to referring for
 help quickly.
Explore OK things to say.
Understand that suicide is a “permanent solution to a
  temporary problem.”

MYTH: if a person has made a decision to commit
 suicide, nothing will stop them.
FACT: Most people who complete or attempt
 suicide do not want to die; they just want their pain to
People thinking of suicide need someone to step in to
 help them find alternatives to dealing with their pain
 and their problems.

MYTH: Talking about suicide may lead someone to
 attempt suicide.
FACT: Talking openly about suicide actually
 reduces the risk.
Your honest care and concern can be a source of
 relief for the suicidal person, reducing the immediate
 Another myth about suicidal people is that once the initial
  depression or suicide attempt is past, the person is well and
  healthy again and doesn’t need to be worried about.
Fact: The initial crisis may be over, but a suicidal person is
  still ripe for another attempt if there is no monitoring and
  follow-through by professionals.
 A certain amount of energy is needed to commit suicide.
 If a suicidal person’s depression seems to have lifted, it may
  lull those around him / her into a false security.
   Teen Suicide is becoming an
      even bigger problem

 It doesn't seem right that a teenager - who has lived for such a
  short time - would choose to die.
 But adolescents who can't get over their depression sometimes
  do kill themselves
 Since 1960, the number of teen suicide has increased 300%.
 Roughly 1 out of 10 people between the ages of 15 - 24
  attempt suicide during some part of their adolescence
 Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people.
 For every two homicides in the U.S. there are three suicides.
 14 suicides take place each day or 5000 per year.
    Suicide threats & clues

Suicide threats and clues:
 It has been estimated that up to 80% of all
  suicide victims have given some clues
  regarding their intentions.
  Direct clues: “I want to kill myself”
  Indirect clues: “I wish I could fall asleep
   and never wake up”
         Suicide Threats

Take all suicide threats seriously:
  even if the person is laughing when mentioning
  or a friend is daring him / her to do it
  or if the person is just beginning to think about
A refusal to take the suicidal person’s feelings
 seriously can be the triggering factor - it may be
 viewed as confirmation that nobody cares or
              “Cry for help”

A suicide or suicide attempt has often been described
 as a “cry for help”.
It’s a message that is sent to significant others.
Many teenagers who attempt suicide, don’t really
 want to die.
They are ambivalent.
There is an urge to die, but there is also an urge to
A life can be saved if the “cry for help” is heard.

We need to know how to listen and what to
 listen for.
It is not normal for teens to be constantly
 depressed. (Mood swings for a day or two are
However, for teens who are depressed for
 weeks and don’t snap out of it - this can be a
 warning sign or a “cry for help.”
Understanding Depression and Its
     Connection to Suicide

Depression is an emotional state in which people
 have extreme feelings of sadness, dejection, lack of
 worth and emptiness.
Depression is not the blues. The blues are normal
 feelings that eventually pass.
Feelings associated with depression last longer than a
 few weeks.
For people who are depressed, no matter how hard
 they try, they can’t seem to “shake” their depression.
      Depressed Individuals

Depressed individuals often feel and act hopeless and
Most depression can be effectively treated (usually
 with a combination of medication and
With treatment, people can live productive lives.
However, if left untreated, depression can be lethal.
 Warning Signs of Depression

 Significant changes in           Chronic physical symptoms
  eating habits:                    or pains that do not respond
   Loss of appetite or             to treatment.
   Overeating;                    Loss of motivation.
   Weight gain or loss.           Feelings of guilt.
 Changes in sleeping              Indecisiveness.
  patterns; sleeping more or       Slowing of speech and body
  less.                             movement.
 Loss of energy or persistent     Persistent thoughts of death
  lethargy; tired all the time.     or suicide.
    A Study of Teens Who Completed
             Suicide found:

 In almost every instance, the adolescents had multiple,
  unexpected separations from their parents during the first
  three years of their lives.
 All felt that there was no real communication or there were no
  emotional ties in their families.
 More than 60% had attempted suicide previously.
 In 25% of the families involved, one of the parents had
  attempted suicide.
 A relative or a close friend had attempted suicide for 44% of
  the suicidal young people in this study.
    A Study of Teens Who Completed
             Suicide found:

 Nearly 66% of the youngsters were in families in which
  someone had suffered a serious illness, (usually in the two-
  year period prior to the attempted suicide).
 Many of the adolescents felt that they had to contend with an
  unwanted stepparent -- a feeling that was often mutual.
 About 85% of the adolescents had physical complaints (i.e.
  headaches, stomach aches, general malaise).
 Most parents of suicidal teenagers say that in retrospect, many
  of the warning signs were there.
  Common Characteristics for Teens
    Who Are Thinking of Suicide

 They suffer psychological or emotional pain that is so intense it
  seems as if it will never end. They feel that their pain and
  suffering will go on forever.
 Teens don’t have the perspective of living a lot of years or that
  everything in life changes.
 Their needs for security, achievement, trust, love, and
  friendship are frustrated.
 They see suicide rather than any other alternative as the
  solution for a problem.
 They need to stop the pain they feel by ending their awareness.
  They have difficulty problem solving.
  Common Characteristics for Teens
    Who Are Thinking of Suicide

 They see only two solutions to the problem: it is either solved
  or it is stopped by their death.
 They feel ambivalence: they want to live; yet they want to die.
 They give clues about wanting to commit suicide.
 They want to run away from the problems, fears, pain, and
 Suicide is the ultimate runaway.
 They have a long pattern of coping poorly with problems.
  They can’t sort it out.
     Detection / Awareness

Detection / awareness:
  All school personnel (including teachers,
   paraprofessionals, administrators, support staff,
   bus drivers, cafeteria workers, etc.) who interact
   with students on a regular basis must know the
   warning signs of suicide and the importance of not
   keeping a secret about suicidal behavior.
     “Red flags” - take notice

Loss of interest in friends and regular activities.
Drop in school grades.
Changes in eating and sleeping habits.
Lack of interest in personal appearance.
Cutting classes.
Drug and alcohol abuse.
Constant withdrawal to his or her room.
A lack of interest in the future.
    “Red flags” - take notice
Giving away prized possessions.
A preoccupation with death and talk of suicide.
Talk of being a “burden”.
Making statements about helplessness, hopelessness.
Loss of interest in hobbies, work, or school.
Difficulty eating and sleeping.
Self-destructive behavior.
Giving things away, even their prized possessions.
    Verbal signs - take notice
“I’m going to kill myself!” (Threatening to kill oneself precedes
  four out of five suicidal deaths.)
“I don’t want to live any more.”
“Soon I won’t be hurting so much any more.”
“They’ll be sorry when I’m gone!”
“I wish I never was born!”
“I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up”
“Do you think dying hurts?”
“They’ll be better off without me!”
Situational signs - take notice

Loss of relationship.
Breakup of relationship with boyfriend or girlfriend.
Belief of not being wanted.
Substance abuse.
Emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
Financial setbacks.
    Substance abuse and suicide

 Some teens who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to
  consider, attempt or succeed at suicide than are non-abusers.
 Substance use and abuse can be common among persons prone
  to be impulsive, and among persons who engage in many types
  of high risk behaviors that result in self-harm.
 The strongest risk factors for attempted suicide in youth are
  depression, substance abuse, & aggressive or disruptive
 Younger persons who kill themselves often have a substance
  abuse disorder in addition to being depressed.
     Suicide is permanent

Suicide is often seen as the only way to
 stop and obtain relief from the
 unbearable pain.
Hopelessness is a strong predictor of
Remember: Suicide is the permanent
 solution to a temporary problem.
   How to help a person who is

Stay calm.
Show you care.
Ask the question: “Are you thinking about hurting
 yourself or committing suicide?”
Get the person the help they need (quickly).
Call for help ASAP (contact the therapist,
 supervisor/chain of command, Crisis Services).
Help other kids be better responders: friends may
 turn to other friends for help.
Let the person know you care

Listen carefully!
Don’t condemn - be willing to listen to feelings.
“You mean a lot to me and I want to help”.
“I don’t want you to kill yourself”.
“I’m on your side and we’ll get through this”.
Don’t minimize or trivialize or moralize.
Don’t offer simplistic solutions (e.g. “All you
  need is a good night’s sleep;” or “Everything will be
  better in the morning”).
It’s OK to say the word "suicide."

Don't be afraid to say the word "suicide."
Getting the word "suicide" out in the open
 may help the teen think someone has heard
 their cries for help.
Remind him / her that no matter how awful
 their problems seem, they can be worked out,
 and you are willing to help.
   Responders have to ask the
        tough questions

“Are you thinking of hurting yourself” ?
“What thoughts or plans do you have”?
“Have you thought about how you would do
“Do you really want to die or do you want the
 pain to go away” ?
    Things a helper can say

“I know where we can get some help”.
“You are not alone. Let me help”.
“Let’s talk to someone who can help … let’s
 call your counselor, now.”
“We’ll call for help” (call therapist ASAP, call
 supervisor / follow chain of command, call
 Crisis Services, etc.).
More things a helper can say

A teen thinking about suicide may need
 someone to take emotional charge:
  “I am here”
  “We will get you through this”
  “I will help you find someone to talk to”
Remember: the more you engage, the less
 likely the person will kill themselves.
Increase awareness among teens

Kids may have a view that life is scarier than death
 (e.g. when they are flunking tests, having
 relationship problems that are going on for a long
 period of time, etc.).
Help them find positive ways to deal with their
Suicide is the ultimate negative way of coping.
Killing self is not like a movie or acting.
Suicide is permanent.
Increase awareness among
       other teens

Dispel the myths.
Help teens better understand what suicide
 and depression is all about.
Sometimes kids / teens view suicide as a
 heroic act.
They may believe suicide takes a lot of
         Contagion Effect

Beware of the Contagion Effect of suicides as
 well as possible suicide pacts.
Teens are more likely to kill themselves if
 they have recently read, seen, or heard about
 other suicide attempts.
“Copycat” suicides happen because kids don’t
 understand the reality of suicide.
         Those left behind

Survivors of those who completed suicide try to
 cope with feelings of:
  Regrets (for what they did and / or did not do)
  It does not have to happen

Try to get across the point (continually) that
 this (suicide) does not have to happen.
Try to empower the person … “You’ve made
 it for 15 years”.
Try not to be judgmental - accept their
 situation as being painful.
  Protective factors that reduce the
probability of suicidal ideation / action

The World Health Organization report found the
 following protective factors:
  Good family relations and support.
  Good relationships with teachers and peers.
  Social integration and participation in school and
  Social skills and self-confidence.
  Willingness to seek help when difficulties arise.

The permanent solution
to a temporary problem
   Lethality Prevention Quiz

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 completion of the Lethality Prevention

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   Lethality Prevention Quiz

Your training record will be updated
 automatically upon successful
 completion of the Lethality Prevention

 Please click here to complete the quiz.
   Lethality Prevention Quiz

Your training record will be updated
 automatically upon successful
 completion of the Lethality Prevention

 Please click here to complete the quiz.

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