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Suicide Risk Assessment & Prevention For Professionals

Suicide Risk Assessment & Prevention For Professionals

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Suicide Risk Assessment & Prevention For Professionals

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  1. Suicide Risk Assessment & Prevention For Professionals Sue Heguy, LCSW Care Plus NJ, Inc.

  2. About our Presenters: • Sue Heguy, LCSW • Christopher Leonard, LCSW, M.Ed

  3. Did You Know…in one year, the number of people who… • Die from suicide: 32,637 • An average of 89 suicides per day • Attempt suicide: (816,000) • Have suicidal ideation: (5+ million)

  4. Demographic Risk Factors Ethnic/Racial Differences: • American Indians and Caucasians are more likely to die by suicide Gender: • Females 3 times more likely to attempt • Males 4 times more likely to complete Sexual Orientation: • LGBTQ youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide • Comprise 30% of the annual youth suicides

  5. Why is it Important to Assess Suicidal Risk? • More survive than actually die from suicide • Two out of every three students who attempt do not receive medical attention • Most common causes for hospital admissions for adolescents • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are warnings

  6. Thomas Joiner: Why People Die by Suicide • Many people are depressed and hopeless, many severely. Why do some choose to end their lives and others do not? • Factors that mark those most at risk of death: 1. The feeling of being a burden on loved ones 2. The sense of isolation 3. The learned ability to hurt oneself.

  7. Joiner’s Theory of Suicide Supported by Research • For an individual to die by suicide, he or she must have both the desire for death as well as the capability for lethal self-injury. • Without the presence of both components, one does not truly desire or seek death.

  8. Risk Factors for Youth Suicide Family history of suicide History of previous suicide attempts History of depression or other mental illness Stressful life event or loss Easy access to lethal methods Incarceration Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

  9. Verbal Warning Signs “I wish I could disappear forever” “I want to run away” “Nobody cares, I may as well be dead” “I want to go to sleep and not wake up” “I hate my life” “I just can’t take it anymore”

  10. Non-Verbal Warning Signs • Social Withdrawal/Isolation • Depression • Lack of energy • Unexplained weight loss or gain • Increased alcohol or drug use • Insomnia or Hypersomnia • Dropping out of sports, hobbies, work or school

  11. General Principles of Suicide Risk Assessment • Be calm and non-judgmental • Ask open ended questions • Never promise unlimited confidentiality • Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon • Don’t be afraid to say the word “suicide”

  12. How to Intervene SEPP S E P P Always treat suicidal behavior seriously Eliminate access to firearms and potential tools that could cause harm Involve a parent or guardian Follow school protocol

  13. Questions to Ask Ask the person directly whether he or she is suicidal: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Ask the person whether he or she has a plan: “Have you decided how you are going to kill yourself?” “Have you decided when you would do it?”

  14. How to Help • Concern • Willing to help • Express empathy • Encourage the person to do most of the talking • Thoughts of suicide are often associated with a treatable mental disorder • Thoughts of suicide are common • Suicidal thoughts do not have to be acted on

  15. Keeping the Person Safe • Provide a safety contact number • Identify people that have been supportive in the past • Are those supports still available? • DO NOT: • Leave an actively suicidal person alone • Use guilt and threats to try to prevent suicide • Agree to keep their plan a secret

  16. How to use 262- HELP

  17. Resources to Provide Youth • Care Plus NJ Access Dept. P: 201-986-5000, • Sage Day P: 201-843-3800, • Trevor Project - Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth. P: 1-866-488-7386, • 2nd Floor - A confidential and anonymous helpline for New Jersey’s youth and young adults ages 10-24. P: 1-888-222-2228,

  18. Resources • Jersey Voice –Real stories from teens and young adults making it through tough times • Arseneault, L., Bowes, L., & Shakoor, S. (2010). Bullying victimization in youths and mental health problems: ‘Much ado about nothing’? Psychological Medicine, 40(5), 717–729 • American Association of Suicidology, Prevention Division. (1999). Guidelines for school based suicide prevention programs. Washington, DC: American Association of Suicidology • Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (2008). SPRC

  19. Resources • Zenere, F., & Lazarus, P. (2009). The sustained reduction of youth suicidal behavior in an urban, multicultural school district. School Psychology Review, 18(2), 189–199 • Wang, J., Iannotti, R., & Nansel, T. (2009). School bullying among adolescents in the United States: Physical, verbal, relational, and cyber. Journal of Adolescent Health, 45(4), 368–375 • Dinkes, R., Kemp, J., Baum, K., & Snyder, T. (2009). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2009 (NCES 2010–012/NCJ 228478) • Farrington, D., & Ttofi, M. (2009b). How to reduce school bullying. Victims and Offenders, 4(4), 321–326

  20. ? Questions

  21. Please Take This Brief Survey And Print Your Certificate of Completion