Child life support through suicidal situations


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Child life support through suicidal situations

  1. 1. Child Life Support through Suicidal Situations “Keeping More Than Dreams Alive” Staff Training Seminar Douglas T. Chan, M.S., LPC-Supervisor, C.A.R.T.
  2. 2. Youth Suicide “The Silent Epidemic”
  3. 3. The Purpose To confront the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide by equipping Child Life Specialists, young people, and their parents with information, tools, and resources to help identify and assist at-risk individuals.
  4. 4. Attorneys General Attorneys General in many states have committed to taking a stand against the “Silent Epidemic.”March 2004 – NAAG Passed Resolution urging AG’s to become involved in youth suicide prevention. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
  5. 5. What Can You Expect Today? Not meant to make you an expert on youth suicide or a crisis counselor. We will… help bring an awareness of the problem of youth suicide and suggest ways of identifying and helping “at-risk” youth.
  6. 6. First Step Awareness
  7. 7. Dr. David Satcher, US Surgeon General, declared Suicide a “A National Health Problem” ..especially within the youth and elderly. In 1999…
  8. 8. How Many young people do we lose Each Year to Suicide? In the United States
  9. 9. We will lose in Excess of 5,000 Young People. It is estimated that…
  10. 10. Each Week in our Nation…. We lose approximately 100+ young people to this “Silent Epidemic” of youth Suicide!
  11. 11. Reported that in the year 2010 over THREE million youth, ages 12-17, were at-risk of suicide. And, of that THREE million, over ONE million actually attempted suicide. In July 2012, NHSDA Report / SAMHSA and U.S. Dept. Of Health
  12. 12. In a typical week, there are more than 19,000 suicide attempts nationally! Almost two attempts each minute - 2700+ per day That Means…
  13. 13. Girls attempt suicide over three times more than boys. Why? Fact
  14. 14. Fact However, boys complete suicide over three times more than girls. The reason for the difference…
  15. 15. Choice of means: Girls usually choose drugs, which can provide a “window of opportunity” for intervention. Boys usually choose firearms, which are more lethal.
  16. 16. Girls are turning to more lethal means at an alarming rate. If this continues, the number of completed suicides will rise at an even higher pace. A recent trend…
  17. 17. Firearms are used in almost 70% of completed suicides…. Since 1980, 90% of the increase in suicide attempts has been through the use of firearms. Fact
  18. 18. Suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24 Fact
  19. 19. Suicide is now the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth. Fact
  20. 20. In Ages 10-14, We have seen an alarming 128% increase in Suicides since 1980- making it the 4th leading cause of death for that age group. Fact
  21. 21. In the last 40 years… youth suicide rates have more than tripled.
  22. 22. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED Did you know?
  23. 23. Youth Risk Behavioral Survey 2012 - CDC This survey covers a broad range of questions concerning behavioral actions and thoughts from our youth. It is presented in public schools to grades 9-12 – some districts choose to include grades 7-8.
  24. 24. Question #1 “Have you felt sad or hopeless almost every day in a row for two weeks or greater so that it affected your usual activities in the past twelve months?” Nationally 28.5% Over 1 out of every 4 Students
  25. 25. Question #2 “Have you seriously considered suicide in the past twelve months?” Nationally 16.9% 1 out of every 6 students
  26. 26. Question #3 “Have you made a plan on how to commit suicide in the past twelve months?” Nationally 13% 1 out of every 8 students
  27. 27. Question #4 “Have you attempted suicide one or more times in the past twelve months?” Nationally 8.4% Almost 1 out of every 12 students
  28. 28. What About Our State? Texas
  29. 29. Question #1 “Have you felt sad or hopeless almost every day in a row for two weeks or greater so that it affected your usual activities in the past twelve months?” Texas – 31.4% Almost 1 out of 3 battled the start of depression
  30. 30. Question #2 “ Have you seriously considered suicide in the past twelve months?” Texas – 15.9% Almost 1 out of 6 seriously considered suicide.
  31. 31. Question #3 “Have you made a plan on how to commit suicide in the past twelve months?” Texas – 12.2 % 1 out of 8 made a plan to commit suicide
  32. 32. Question #4 “ Have you attempted suicide one or more times in the past twelve months?” Texas – 9.4 % 1 out of 11 attempted suicide
  33. 33. • Beginning Depression – 605,256 • Seriously Consider Suicide – 306,483 • Will Make a Plan – 235,163 • Will Make an Attempt – 181,914 or an average of 496 young people each day! What does that mean in real lives for Texas ?? Utilizing 2005 Student Population
  34. 34. Key to Prevention: Education
  35. 35. Four out of five completed suicides gave “clear warning” signs before the attempt! According to the National Mental Health Association
  36. 36. That means… In 80% of suicide attempts…..we have an “opportunity” to recognize the warning signs and intervene!
  37. 37. Do not normalize It is important to remember and share that not everyone is attempting suicide. (1 out of 12 did, 11 did not attempt etc.) However, we must not understate suicide’s impact on our youth, families and communities. One is too many!
  38. 38. Youth Educators Parents Triangle of Prevention Programs and Seminars An effective program of prevention must include the three main areas of influence in a young person’s life.
  39. 39. What Can Be Done: Increase awareness Dispel Myths Educate Learn warning signs and elevated risk factors
  40. 40. Increasing Your Awareness Increasing Awareness through;  Listening to the patient’s words and meanings.  Paying attention the patient’s actions and lack of actions  Listen to the family and friends.  Pay attention to what the patient desires to do and what he/she is not wanting to do.  Don’t Be afraid to ask questions.
  41. 41. Dispelling Myths Talking to a person about his/her suicidal feelings may cause him/her to attempt suicide. Someone who talks about suicide often is not a risk. Suicide is impulsive and there is nothing we can do to prevent it.
  42. 42. Signs of Concern A general listing by The U. S. Surgeon General’s Office, these are sometimes referred to as Warning Signs
  43. 43. It is important to note that these represent a few general signs of concern and are not to be considered a comprehensive list that always indicates suicidal intentions. When in doubt, always seek professional help! Important
  44. 44. Remember that many times signs of concern can be considered part of normal growth unless… They persist over a long period of time, There are several signs evident at once or The behavior is “out-of-character” for the individual as you know him/her.
  45. 45. Five Signs of Concern:  Suicide Threats  Previous Suicide Attempts  Depression  Out of Character Behavior  Final Arrangements
  46. 46. Suicide Threats “I would be better off dead!” “You won’t have me around much longer to bother you!” “I wish I was dead” “I am going to kill myself”…(this is straight forward, but it happens) Can you think of other examples….
  47. 47. Previous Suicide Attempts Four out of five completed suicides are not the first attempt by the victim. Take even so-called “half-hearted” attempts seriously…these are serious calls for help! Never keep an attempt secret from parents / school officials (counselors).
  48. 48. Depression In a study conducted by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office in 2010, it was reported that one out of seven teenagers in our nation could be considered “clinically depressed”. Depression in young people often times exhibits itself through “out-of-character behavior”.
  49. 49. Out-of-Character Behavior may include:  Abrupt changes in attendance…  Dwindling academic performance  Sudden failure to complete assignments  Lack of interest and withdrawal  Sudden changes in appearance  Changed relationships with classmates  Increased irritability or aggressiveness  Preoccupation with death and suicide  Despairing attitude  Abrupt changes in eating and sleeping habits
  50. 50. Final Arrangements Giving away “prized possessions” Examples: favorite piece of jewelry or clothing, driver’s license, collection, etc. “Making rounds” (visiting friends to set things right and say good-bye) Sharing of funeral plans (primarily by girls to a best friend).
  51. 51. Can you think of any other “Signs of Concern” that could signal that a student might be having problems? Additional Signals
  52. 52. If you have any doubt of a young person’s intentions or any concern about their behavior, get professional help for them immediately! Basic Rule to Remember
  53. 53. Although there is really no suicidal type of young person, the statistics on youth suicide do suggest that there are certain behaviors or characteristics that can alert you to an elevated risk of possible suicidal ideation. Elevated Risks
  54. 54. Elevated Risk Factors: Perfectionists Low self esteem Depressed Teens Students first real trouble Abused, molested or neglected youth Loners Gay/ Lesbian youth Learning-Disabled Changes in school status Abusers of Drugs / Alcohol
  55. 55. The Don’ts • Don’t Panic. • Don’t ignore the situation and hopes that it goes away. • Don’t blame the patient for the choices that he/she has made. • Don’t look for quick fix solutions to make the patient feel better. • Don’t criticize or blame the patient for the way that they are and have been feeling. • Don’t trivialize, normalize or dismiss the issues that the patient may be going through. • Don’t be patronizing, assuming, or judgmental. • Don’t take it personally. (Q-TIP)
  56. 56. The Don’ts(con’t) • Don’t leave the patient alone if they are claiming a suicidal risk. • Don’t make promises that you can not keep (i.e.. Keeping their suicidal feelings a secret). • 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 lecture on the value of life, or say that suicide is wrong
  57. 57. The Don’ts (con’t) • 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. You can’t “fix” someone’s depression. Your loved one’s happiness, or lack thereof, is not your responsibility.
  58. 58. The Do’s • Do be there for the patient. • Do ask if the patient is thinking about suicide. • Do check out their safety. (Think safety with the items that you may use with the patients.) • Do ask if the patient has a plan and the means to complete the plan. • Do ask for a promise. • Do Stay involved and hand off any communication. • Do take care of yourself.
  59. 59. The Do’s (con’t) • Do look, listen and learn from what the patient is doing and saying. • Do ask the patient to consider talking with their family about the situation. • Do consider talking with the family and friends about the ongoing situation. • Do consider working with the MD about a psych consult. • Do work with your team for the best outcome.
  60. 60. References • American Academy of Pediatrics - • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - • American Psychiatric Association - • American Psychological Association - • Center for Disease Control and Prevention - • Jason Foundation - • National Survey on Drug Use and Health - • Office of the Attorney General Texas - • Office of the Surgeon General - • SAMHSA - • Suicide Awareness Voices of Education - • Suicide Prevention Resource Center - • Texas Counseling Association - • Texas Department of State Health Services - • Texas Suicide and Crisis Hotline - • Texas Suicide Prevention - • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) -
  61. 61. Thank You Douglas T. Chan, M.S., LPC-Supervisor, C.A.R.T. (281) 826 – 1699 KBCC 2323 Timber Shadows Drive, Suite B Kingwood, Texas 77339 KPH 2001 Ladbrook Drive Kingwood, Texas 77339