SUICIDE Intentional Self-Inflicted Death
Just the Facts • Every 13.7 minutes another life is lost to • suicide, taking the lives of more than 38,364 • Americans every year. • Every day 105.8 Americans take their own life • Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of • death in America; Homicide is 15th. • For young people 15-24 years old, suicide • is the third leading cause of death.
In 2010, there were 4,600 reported youth suicides in the United States. Each day there are approximately 12 youth suicides Most common method is firearms followed by suffocations Males complete 4 times more than females; females attempt four times more than males. OUR Youth
1 out of every 53 high school students (1.9 percent) reported having made a suicide attempt that was serious enough to be treated medically (CDC, 2010a). Approximately 1 out of every 15 high school students attempts suicide each year (CDC, 2010a). For every completed suicide, there are 100-200 attempts among adolescents. Suicide Attempts
Suicide in Adolescents Suicide in Adolescents • Research shows that most adolescent suicides occur after school hours and in the teen’s homes. • Most adolescent suicides are precipitated by interpersonal conflict.
The Teenage Brain • Adolescence is a time of profound brain growth. • Greatest changes to the brain that are responsible for impulse control, decision making, planning, organization, and emotion occur in adolescence (prefrontal cortex). • Do not reach full maturity until age 25.
What do teens deal with? • Increased school pressures as they progress through higher grades • Possibly first romantic relationships • Exploring increased independence and identity • Experimenting with substance use • Puberty and Hormone fluctuation • Bullying
Peer Problems • Several studies have found relationships between suicidal behavior and social isolation, sexual orientation, and peer rejection. • 70% of suicide completions and attempts occur following the loss or conflict with family and peers.
Sexual Identification • Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual youth are 1 ½ - 7 times more likely to have reported ideation (suicidal thoughts). • LGB Youth in multiple studies are found to be 3-4 times more likely to attempt suicide. • 58% of LGB youth who had attempted suicide reported they really hoped to die vs. 33% of heterosexuals who attempted and reported really hoping to die.
Bullying: 3 defining characteristics: • Intentional—behavior is deliberately harmful or threatening • 2. Repeated—a bully targets the same victim again and again • 3 .Power Imbalanced—a bully chooses victims he or she perceives as vulnerable
Cyberspace CYBERSPACE is the new environment where " youth are forming communities.
Cyber bullying • 93% of teens ages 12-17 are on the Internet. • 75% of teens own a cell phone. • A typical teen sends about >100 text messages a day. • Most teen cell phone users make just 1-5 calls per day. • 82% of online teens ages 14-17 are on social network sites
Distance 24/7 Multiple methods Text messages; video clips; Websites; Social Media; IM; Emails; Chat rooms Anonymous Expanded Audience What makes Cyberbullying different?
Withdraws socially; has few or no friends. Feels isolated, alone, and sad. Feels picked on or persecuted. Feels rejected and not liked. Complains frequently of illness. Doesn’t want to go to school; avoids some classes or skips school. Brings home damaged possessions or reports them “lost.” Cries easily; displays mood swings and talks about hopelessness. Has poor social skills. Talks about running away/suicide. Bullying effects
Verbal Physical Relational Both victims and perpetrators of bullying are at a higher risk for suicide than their peers. Children who are both victims and perpetrators of bullying are at the highest risk One study found that victims of cyberbullying had higher levels of depression than victims of face-to-face bullying Bullying risks for suicide:
SUICIDE: Myth • Confronting a person about suicide will only make them angry and increase the risk of suicide. • Asking someone directly about suicidal intent lowers anxiety, opens up communication and lowers the risk of an impulsive act
Myth • Those who talk about suicide don’t do • it. • People who talk about suicide may • try, or even complete, an act of • self-destruction.
Myth • If a suicidal youth tells a friend, the • friend will access help. • Most young people do not tell an • adult
SUICIDE- Risk Factors, Warning Signs, Protective Factors • Risk Factors- characteristics that will make it more likely that an individual will consider, attempt, or die by suicide • Warning Signs- behaviors that indicate signs of immediate risk • Protective Factors- characteristics that make it less likely that individuals will consider, attempt, or die by suicide.
Risk Factors • Ideation-thoughts about suicide • Substance Abuse • Purposelessness • Anxiety • Trapped • Hopelessness • Withdrawal • Anger • Recklessness • Mood Changes
Prior suicide attempts Mental health disorders History of trauma or abuse Family history of suicide Lack of social support Problems that increase Suicide Risk
Situations that increase suicide risk • Major physical illnesses • Losses • Bullying • Easy access to lethal means • Local clusters of suicide
Firearms are used in 58% of successful suicides The rate of completed suicides is fives times higher in houses with firearms. Firearms are even more prevalent in suicides involving alcohol. Access to means
Warning Signs: • Acquiring a gun or stockpiling pills • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself • Impulsivity/increased risk taking • Giving away prized possessions • Self-destructive acts (i.e., cutting) • Increased drug or alcohol abuse • Talking about no reason to live
Protective Factors • Treatment for Mental health, physical disorders • Increased access to interventions • Restricted access to highly lethal means • Strong connections to family and community support • Strong problem-solving and conflict resolution skills • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation.
Indirect or “Coded” Verbal Clues: • “I’m tired of life, I just can’t go on.” • “My family would be better off without me.” • “Who cares if I’m dead anyway.” • “I just want out.” • “I won’t be around much longer.” • “Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about me.”
What to Do for the Individual • Take it seriously • Almost 80% of all suicides had given some warning of their intentions • Ask Directly • If you think that someone is suicidal, ask them about it
What to do: • When talking to a suicidal person • Be yourself. Let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone. The right words are often unimportant. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it. • Listen. Let the suicidal person unload despair, ventilate anger. No matter how negative the conversation seems, the fact that it exists is a positive sign.
What to Do • Be sympathetic, non-judgmental, patient, calm, accepting. Your friend or family member is doing the right thing by talking about his/her feelings. • Offer hope. Reassure the person that help is available and that the suicidal feelings are temporary. Let the person know that his or her life is important to you.
What to Do • If the person says things like, “I’m so depressed, I can’t go on,” ask the question: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” You are not putting ideas in their head, you are showing that you are concerned, that you take them seriously, and that it’s OK for them to share their pain with you.
Do Not • Don’t argue with the suicidal person. Avoid saying things like: "You have so much to live for," "Your suicide will hurt your family," or “Look on the bright side.” • Don’t act shocked, lecture on the value of life, or say that suicide is wrong.
Do Not • Don’t promise confidentiality. Refuse to be sworn to secrecy. A life is at stake and you may need to speak to a mental health professional in order to keep the suicidal person safe. • Don’t offer ways to fix their problems, or give advice, or make them feel like they have to justify their suicidal feelings. It is not about how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting your friend or loved one. • Don’t blame yourself.
Stay There • Don’t leave them alone. • Seek Help -Be actively involved in seeking help from a teacher, counselor or other adult