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Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

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Suicide Prevention

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  1. Suicide Prevention Operation S. A. V. E. April 18, 2012 April Hamilton, RN-BC, BSN, MS, CDE Suicide Prevention Coordinator

  2. Suicide Facts Suicide is a major Public Health problem! • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America for all ages: • 2nd leading cause of death in 25-34 year olds • 3rd leading cause of death in 15-25 year olds • Persons age 65 or older have the highest suicide rates of any age group • In 2008 – 36,035 reported suicide deaths • CDC information indicates approximately: • 99 deaths/day • 1 death every 15 minutes

  3. Suicide Facts • Men take their lives nearly 4 times more often than women • Women try to take their lives more often • Veterans may be at even greater risk than general population

  4. Operation S.A.V.E. Operation S. A. V. E. will help you act with care and compassion if you encounter a veteran who is suicidal. The acronym “SAVE” summarizes the steps needed to take an active and valuable role in suicide prevention. • Signs of suicidal thinking • Ask questions • Validate the veteran’s experience • Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help • IDENTIFICATION IS THE KEY

  5. Suicide Warning Signs • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to • Looking for ways to kill oneself • Talking/writing about death, dying or suicide when this is out of the ordinary • Feeling hopeless • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities • Feeling trapped; like there’s no way out • Increased alcohol or drug use • Withdrawing from friends, family and society • Experiencing dramatic mood changes • Seeing no reason for living or purpose in life

  6. Ask questions To effectively determine if a veteran is suicidal, one needs to interact in a manner that communicates concern and understanding. As well, one needs to know how to manage personal discomfort in order to directly address the issue. Know how to ask the most important question The most difficult S. A. V. E. step is asking the most important question of all – “Are you thinking of killing yourself.”

  7. Validate the veteran’s experience Validation means: • Show the individual that you are listening and hear what they are saying – acknowledge their feelings • Let them know that their situation is serious and deserving of attention • Let him or her know you are there to help

  8. Encourage treatment and Expedite getting help For the cooperative veteran: Tips for encouraging treatment: 1. Explain that there are trained professionals available to help them. 2. Call 911 or transport individual to nearest hospital 3. Escort to ER (if already in the hospital) and remain with him/her until handoff to clinical staff is done

  9. ACE – active duty and VA • Ask the Veteran/your buddy • Care for the Veteran/your buddy • Escort the Veteran/your buddy

  10. Phone Contacts • Try to keep the patient on the phone (get as much info as possible) • In an office or hospital setting, do not transfer the call around • If address or location is known – police or EMS can be called (911) and sent to patient if needed (if in danger of harming himself/herself or if they are already injured)

  11. Your Role… • Suicide Prevention is everyone’s responsibility!! • Recognize the Warning Signs • Respond by helping the person seek professional help and/or alerting someone else who can help • Know the National Crisis Line Number • 800-273-TALK (8255) • Know your Suicide Prevention Team (if you have one) and/or know how to make a referral