Suicide Prevention Presented by Robert L. Mate, M.S., NCC, LMHC Assistant Dean of Students Office of the Dean of Students National Statistics •Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. •Suicide was the 8th leading cause of death for males, and 19th leading cause of death for females. National Statistics • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds. • The total number of suicide deaths was 39,622. (2001) • Suicide by firearms was the most common method for both men and women, accounting for 55% of all suicides. • More men than women die by suicide. (4:1) • 73% of all suicide deaths are white males. • 80% of all firearm suicide deaths are white males. College Statistics • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 20-24 year olds. • More teenagers die from suicide than from all medical illnesses combined. College Statistics • One in 12 U.S. college students make a suicide plan. • 9.5% of the 16,000 students surveyed had seriously contemplated suicide and 1.5% have made a suicide attempt. • Students who live with a spouse or domestic partner, or who belong to a sorority or fraternity, are less likely to think about suicide (less social isolation). Higher Risk for Suicidal Ideation and Attempts on Campus There are two distinct groups on campus: • Students with pre-existing mental health conditions. • Students who develop mental health problems during the college years. Within these two groups: • Students under the age of 21. • Males. • Asians and Hispanics. • Students currently receiving treatment. Suicide Rates of College Students (per 100,000) Age Women Men Total 17-19 1.2 5.7 3.4 20-24 4.5 9.0 7.1 All students* 4.5 10.0 7.5 * Includes students ranging in age from 17 to 49 Risk Factors • Past history of attempted suicide - Between 20 & 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. • Those who have made serious suicide attempts are at a much higher risk of actually taking their lives. Risk Factors • Psychiatric Disorders. • Genetic Predisposition- Family history of suicide, depression or other psychiatric illnesses. • Impulsivity. -Impulsive individuals are more apt to act on suicidal impulses. • Males are three to five times more likely to commit suicide than females. • Precipitating event. Warning Signs Death or terminal illness of relative or friend. Divorce, separation, broken relationship, stress on family. Warning/Danger Signs • Loss of job, home, money, self-esteem. • Has attempted suicide before. • Takes unnecessary risks. • Is preoccupied with death and dying. • Loses interest in their personal appearance. • Increase in their use of alcohol or drugs. • Depression. Symptoms of Depression: • Depressed mood. • Change in appetite or weight. • Change in sleeping patterns. • Speaking and/or moving with unusual speed or slowness. • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities. • Decrease in sexual drive. • Fatigue or loss of energy. Warning/Danger Signs for Faculty/Staff • Despondent messages on exams: “It’s no use.” “This will be the end of me.” • Messages of hopelessness in term papers or notes. • Emails of a distressed nature from students. Warning/Danger Signs for Faculty/Staff • Sudden change in attendance and/or appearance. • Noticeable reduction in quality of work. • Significant disengagement. • Inappropriate use of alcohol/drugs. • Recent significance loss. • Off-handed comments about not being around or about death. Common Expressions • Can’t stop the pain. • Can’t think clearly-can’t get control. • Can’t make decisions. • Can’t see any way out. • Can’t sleep, eat or work. • Can’t get out of depression. • Can’t make the sadness go away. • Can’t see a future without pain. • Can’t see themselves as worthwhile. • Can’t get someone’s attention. How To Help Many people at some time in their lives think about committing suicide. Most decide to live, because they eventually come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. How To Help • Be direct. Talk openly. • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings and accept the feelings. • Be non-judgmental. Don’t lecture on the value of life. • Get involved. Become available. • Don’t dare him/her to do it. How To Help • Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you. • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support. • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance. • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills. • Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Where To Go For Help • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) • Location – PSYC Building – Appointments and Information • 49-46995 • 49-41724 24 hour on-call • http://www.purdue.edu/CAPS • Purdue Student Health Center (PUSH) • Location – PUSH – Appointments and Information • 49-46995 • http://www.purdue.edu/PUSH Where To Go For Help • Office of the Dean of Students • Location: – Schleman Hall, Room 207 – For an appointment and information • 49-41254 • http://www.purdue.edu/odos • Counseling and Guidance Center • Location: – BRNG Hall, Room 3202 – For an appointment and information: • 49-49738 • http://www.edst.purdue.edu/cd/pcgc/ Where To Go For Help • Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic • SEE – Individual, Couple and Family Therapy Clinic • Location: – Fowler Hall – For Appointments and Information • 49-42939 • http://www.cfs.purdue.edu/mft/clinic.html • Lafayette Crisis Center • Location: – 1244 North 15th Street, Lafayette, IN 47904 • Crisis Line: 742-0244 • Teen Line: 423-1872 • http:www.lafayettecrisiscenter.org References 1. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. 2. Vastag B. Suicide prevention plan calls for physicians’ help. JAMA. 201:285 (11):2701-2703 3. Centers for Disease Control. National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Youth Risk Surveillance: National College Health Risk Survey, 1995. 4. Silverman M, et. al. The Big Ten Student Suicide Study: A Ten-Year Study of Suicides on Midwestern University Campuses. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. 1997; 27 (3), 285-307. 5. US Department of Education, National Center for Education statistics. Digest of Educational Statistics: Postsecondary Education. www.nces.ed.gov. Web Site, accessed October 4, 2001. 6. American College Health Association, National College Health Assessment: Reference Group Report, Spring 2000. Baltimore: American College Health Association; 2001.
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