SUICIDE Suicide second most common cause of death for young men in Uk
FACTS • 2 YOUNG PEOPLE END THEIR LIVES EVERY DAY • 2 YOUNG PEOPLE SELF HARMING EVERY HOUR. • Males “Complete” suicide • Females are “attempters”
BACKGROUND FACTS • UNTIL 1961 (UK) AND 1993 (Eire) • Suicide was a criminal offence • No Christian burial • Seen as a shame on the family • No help offered to bereaved families
STIGMA • Suicide & Self harm is distressing to adults. • Young teenagers are vulnerable to these related stories of schoolfriends. • Attention Seeking behaviours
Attention Seeking • Dispel the myths: Not true that people who talk about it don’t do it. • Self cutting, overdosing, excess alcohol consumption, skin tearing, hair pulling all examples of self harm • Suicidal feelings are a combination of factors
ADOLESCENCE • Hormonal glands are in turmoil • Parent rejection, independent feelings, • Exploration of identities: Who am I? • Trying to make sense of emotional changes, physical changes body shape, sexual adjustment.
ADOLESCENCE • Conflicting attitudes peers & parents • Teenage romances can be stressful • Influence of media & internet videos • Pressures to behave in certain ways Feelings of inadequacy
ADOLESCENCE • Importance of positive role models • Youth have high expectations of adults which does not fit in with what they find.: parents in conflict, arguing, • Negative role models.
RESEARCH BASED EVIDENCE • TEENAGE MALE SUICIDES CAUSED BY: • IMPULSIVITY • LACK OF BELONGINGNESS • BURDENSOMENESS • ( NOTE: alcohol is highly associated with all these suicides !)
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS • Family members sadness, • Anger towards the young person • Guilt & Self blame also Confusion • Relatives need structured emotional support for many years • Its complex, sensitive & needs highly skilled intervention techniques
SIGNS OF SUICIDE • Look to see if their problem is interfering with their lifestyle • Look for changes in: • Eating patterns & weight • Covert internet activity • Friendship patterns- radical changes
SIGNS OF SUICIDE • Helplessness & hopelessness • Negative remarks about self • Giving small personal objects to friends • Suicidal remarks ( and often none) • Drinking alcohol in own room
MORE SIGNS • A broken relationship (12 -16 yr olds) • Intense jealously • Sexual abuse ( don’t get involved!) • Refer to professional ie psychologist psychiatrist, GP ) • Legal implications if you give advice
VULNERABLE GROUPS • Alcoholics & drug abusers • Young men in rural areas ie farmers • Ethnic minority groups: migrants • Gay and lesbian young people • Disabled young people
FACTORS IN HIGH RISK GROUPS Very low self esteem and low self worth • Powerless, feeling trapped • Poor coping skills, homelessness • Lack of knowledge/ life experiences • Isolation & loneliness • Not belonging to a group
Factors common to “at risk” young people seen by peers • FEAR OF HUMILIATION • FEAR OF MADNESS • FEAR OF PUNISHMENT • FEAR OF NOT COPING • FEAR OF SHAME /DISGRACE
Hopelessness • No end to hopeless feelings • I will never fit in again • No one will ever accept me • I will be lonely forever • No cure for my feelings • No one understands me
DELIBERATE SELF HARM • Inflicting pain that shows on the body seen or unseen by others • Transformation of psychological torment into a manageable physical sensation • Release from build up of stress
SELF HARM A purification of badness- blood letting A way of release to avoid unacceptable truths/beliefs Can be an addiction A response to abuse, sexual or psychological
Why do people self harm? • Family breakup or dislocation • Abuse and changes of home • Broken friendships ( usually sexual) • Lack of parental emotional warmth and physical contact Working in a medical setting ie nurses
EFFECTS ON OTHERS • It is anxiety provoking, frustrating • People feel angry, confused and helpless • Friends and family feel responsible • Staff need to vent their feelings, talk through their reactions, revulsions, fears, frustrations.
The cycle of self-harm • 1. Self disgust and tension increases • 2. A trigger event increases distress • 3. Self harming takes place • 4.Relief form tension is experienced • 5.Guilt or shame at the self harm
Strategies for helping • Take a NONJUDGEMENTAL attitude to the PERSON not the ACT. • Assume they cannot cope with the stress • Don’t offer advice! ( legalities involved) Refer to psychologist etc
STRATEGIES • Relaxation techniques • Ventilating emotions, talking therapy • Physical exercise / distractions • Physical contact • Reduce isolation • Set achievable targets ie a cleaning plan, finding information
STRATEGIES • Get them to make a relaxation CD (this helps them gain a sense of control over life) Ventilate by writing it out, hammer it out, shout it all out, kick it all out ( sand) talk it all out.
Strategies • Encourage swimming • Regular routines • Praise positive events in their life. • Encourage dancing/ craft activities • Help them set up a contact circle
What does therapy do? • Examines the underlying thoughts and emotions of the young person and to give them a sense of control over the cutting. • Looking closely at the pattern of cutting / overdosing
Strategies • Allow client to identify signs of perceived failure. • “I am a failure because…” • “I am worthless …” • “I am not wanted / loved” • “I am a bad person….”
Therapy • We link the emotions to the beliefs about the self Explain that old beliefs are old and irrelevant to current self. Help them to see the futility of habitual cutting & self denigrating thoughts- create positive moods
Therapy • Teach assertiveness skills • Work with client how to explain scars to others, formula answer and stick to it.
Finally • LISTEN – DON’T ADVISE • BE FULLY ALERT • USE YOUR TRAINING SKILLS • DON’T DISCUSS & GET INVOLVED OVER INTERNET • LEGAL IMPLICATIONS • Data protection / confidentiality