SPEAK IIIPeers Helping Peers Presented by the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) & the Office of Mental Health (OMH)
“No Denial Changes things . . .” They’ll find it on the stairs Politely placed it there Been so unkind without a hint No warning sign for them Read my apology Their hope of disbelief But no denial changes things No remedy ahead I am not to be martyred I am not to be worshipped I did it not to be strong, strong, strong
Workshop Outline • SPEAK • Purpose • Statistics: prevalence and incidence • Suicide and Ethnicity • Myths vs. Facts • Risks • Warnings Signs • Resources of Help
What is SPEAK? OMH & NYASP joined together to create a series of workshops that provide information on the signs and symptoms of depression and ways to prevent suicide. This specific workshop is geared towards the college population; however, much of the information can benefit the public in general.
Purpose The purpose of this workshop is to facilitate awareness of suicide at the college level and to further educate students about the risk factors, warning signs, and resources available to help someone in need.
Leaving home can be difficult . . . • Separation from family and friends • Breaking up with someone special • Pressure of managing your own life • Stress related to grades and studying
Believe it or not!Statistics • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds and the third leading cause of death among 15- and 24-year olds (CDC 2005). • Among young adults ages 15 to 24 years old, there is 1 suicide for every 100-200 attempts (Goldsmith et al. 2002). • Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for males and the sixteenth leading cause for females (CDC 2005). • Firearms remain the most commonly used suicide method among youth, accounting for 49% of all completed suicides.
Believe it or not!Statistics In 2004, 32,439 people completed suicide. Of these, 4,316 were completed by people between the ages of 15 and 24. Suicide rates, for 15-24 year olds, have more than doubled since the 1950’s, and remained largely stable at these higher levels between the late 1970’s and the mid 1990’s. They have declined 28.5% since 1994. In the past 60 years, the suicide rate has quadrupled for males 15 to 24 years old, and has doubled for females of the same age (CDC, 2002). Males between the ages of 20 and 24 were 5.8 times more likely than females to complete suicide. Males between 15 and 19 were 3.6 times more likely than females to complete suicide (2004 data).
Suicide Among College Students • According to a major study of suicides on Big Ten college campuses, the rate of completed suicide for college students was 7.5 per 100,000. • It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year. • One in 12 college students have made a suicide plan. • In 2000, the American College Health Association surveyed 16,000 college students from 28 college campuses. • 9.5% of students had seriously contemplated suicide. • 1.5% have made a suicide attempt.
Does Culture and Ethnicity Matter? • Research is equivocal; some say yes, some say no! • Trends • Suicide in African-American young men is on the rise • Native American males have highest rate of suicide • Suicide among African-American females is lowest • Hispanic Females have the highest rate of suicidal ideation and behavior, when compared to Caucasian and African-American females • Asian females have more frequent suicide attempts when compared to other ethnic groups • High peaks of suicidal behavior for Pacific Islanders
Suicide related to Ethnicity: Interesting Facts • African American beliefs about suicide may act as a protective factor. Religious communities condemn suicide, while secular attitudes regard suicide as unacceptable and a behavior of white culture, alien to black culture. • African American women attempt suicide at almost the same rate as white women, but have fewer completions. One study found that, when compared to white women, black women have greater social support, larger extended families, more religious views against suicide, and stronger mothering philosophies, all of which may act as protective factors. • Social support provided by the extended family and the religious belief that suicide is a sin, common features of Hispanic heritage, may serve to buffer Hispanic American people against suicide.
Suicide related to Ethnicity: Interesting Facts • Confucianism, Buddhist, and Taoist beliefs may contribute to lower suicide rates among Asian Americans, since they emphasize interdependence and interconnectedness and the group over the individual. On the other hand, suicide may be condoned if it protects the family from shame or disgrace. • The most significant protective factors against suicide attempts among American Indian/Alaska Native youth are: • discussion of problems with family or friends • connectedness to family • emotional health • Culturally sensitive programs that strengthen family ties, including addressing substance abuse, could protect against suicide among Native American adolescents. • A study of American Indians living on reservations found that tribal spiritual orientation was a strong protective factor. Individuals with a strong tribal spiritual orientation were half as likely to report a suicide attempt in their lifetimes.
~Myth Busters~ Fact or Myth? • Suicide usually occurs without warning. Myth! Warning signs are almost always present before a suicide occurred.
Myth Busters~ cont’d Fact or Myth? 2. You can always tell when a person is suicidal by their sad/depression affect. Myth! A suicidal person can exhibit other signs, such as, change in appearance, substance abuse, reckless behavior, or manic states.
Myth Busters~ cont’d Fact or Myth? 3. A person who has attempted suicide may attempt suicide again, even with treatment. Fact! Suicide survivors can make several attempts.
Myth Busters~ cont’d Fact or Myth? 4. A depressed or suicidal peer is angry and adamant about not wanting help. You should wait until they are ready for your help. Myth! No matter how resistant the individual is, get them help!
Who is at risk? Your peers who feel: • Sadness • Hopelessness • Depression • Stress • Interpersonal isolation • Impulsive, aggressive, or antisocial behaviors
Warning Signs • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society • Unable to sleep or sleeps all the time • Experiences dramatic mood changes • Displays frequent somatic concerns • Feels there is no purpose in life. • Neglects personal appearance
Warning Signs Your peer has: • Felt hopeless • Felt rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge • Talked or threatened to hurt/kill oneself • Sought access to firearms, available pills, or other means • Talked or written about death, dying, or suicide • Acted recklessly or engaged in risky activities seemingly without thinking • Increased alcohol or drug use
Warning Signs • How do you remember the warning signs of Suicide? • IS PATH WARM? I Ideation S Substance Abuse P Purposelessness A Anxiety T Trapped H Hopelessness W Withdrawal A Anger R Recklessness M Mood Change
A peer exhibits the warning signs…What do you do next? • Seek out the individual • Let them speak • Follow up • Get them to a counselor • Talk to a counselor yourself for advice • Don’t be afraid to SPEAK out
In situations of high risk… • Take all comments seriously Do they have a plan? What would they use? Where would they do it? How would they do it? • Suicide Proof the environment • Remain Calm (Do not panic!) • Call 911- You should not handle the situation alone. • Do not leave the suicidal person alone. • Use supportive and encouraging words • Never pass judgment-Always validate their feelings.
Where to get help Campus Resources • Counseling facilities • RA’s, Teachers, etc.. • Know campus counseling or emergency contacts. Community Resources • Hotlines 1-800-273-TALK 1-800-SUICIDE 1-888-290-Safe Place • Support groups • Get a list of the mental health professionals in the community.
Remember – Everybody Hurts Sometimes … But Hold On