About our Presenters:About our Presenters:• Sue Heguy, LCSW• Christopher Leonard,LCSW, M.Ed
Why is it important toWhy is it important toAssess Suicidal Risk?Assess Suicidal Risk?• More survive than actually die from suicide• 2 of 3 students who attempt do not receivemedical attention• Most common causes for hospitaladmissions for adolescents• Suicidal thoughts and behaviors arewarnings
Thomas Joiner:Thomas Joiner:Why People Die by SuicideWhy People Die by Suicide Lots of people are depressed and hopeless, manyseverely. Why do some choose to end their livesand others do not ? Factors that mark those most at risk of death1. The feeling of being a burden on loved ones2. The sense of isolation3. The learned ability to hurt oneself.
JoinerJoiner’s Theory of Suicide’s Theory of SuicideSupported by ResearchSupported by Research• For an individual to die by suicide, he orshe must have both the desire for death aswell as the capability for lethal self-injury.• Without the presence of both components,one does not truly desire or seek death.
Risk Factors for Youth SuicideRisk Factors for Youth SuicideHistory of previoussuicide attemptsFamily historyof suicideHistory ofdepression orothermental illness StressfulLife eventor lossEasyaccess tolethalmethodsExposure to thesuicidal behaviorOf othersIncarceration
Verbal WarningVerbal WarningSignsSigns“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 notwake up”“I hate my life”“I just can’t take it anymore”
Non-Verbal WarningNon-Verbal WarningSignsSigns• Social Withdrawal/Isolation• Depression• Lack of energy• Unexplained weigh loss or gain• Increased alcohol or drug use• Insomnia or Hypersomnia• Dropping out of sports, hobbies,work or school
General Principles of Suicide RiskGeneral Principles of Suicide RiskAssessmenAssessmentt• Be calm and non-judgmental• Asking open ended questions• Never promise unlimited confidentiality• Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon• Don’t be afraid to say the word “suicide”
How toHow toInterveneInterveneSEPPSEPPAlways treat suicidal behavior seriouslyEliminate access to firearms and potential toolsthat could cause harmInvolve a parent or guardianFollow school protocol
Questions toQuestions toAskAskAsk the person directly whether he or she issuicidal:“Are you having thoughts of suicide?”“Are you thinking about killing yourself?”Ask the person whether he or she has aplan:“Have you decided how you are going to killyourself?”“ Have you decided when you would do it?”
How to HelpHow to HelpCHESTCHESTShow ConcernWilling to helpExpress empathy & encourage the person to talkSuicide is often associated with a treatable mental disorderThoughts of suicide are common & don’t have to be acted upon
Keeping the Person SafeKeeping the Person Safe• Provide a safety contact number• Identify people that have beensupportive in the past• Are those supports are stillavailable?• DO NOT:– Leave an actively suicidal person alone– Use guilt and threats to try to prevent suicide– Agree to keep their plan a secret
Resources to Provide YouthResources to Provide Youth• Care Plus NJ Access Dept. – 201-986-5000careplusnj.org• Sage Day – 201-843-3800sageday.com• Trevor Project-Providing crisis intervention and suicideprevention to LGBTQ youth. Lifeline for support 1-866-488-7386Thetrevorproject.org• 2ndFloor -A confidential and anonymous helpline for NewJersey’s youth and young adults ages 10-24. 1-888-222-22282ndfloor.org
ResourcesResources• Jersey Voice –Real stories from teens and young adultsmaking it through tough timesJerseyvoice.net Reachout.com• Arseneault, L., Bowes, L., & Shakoor, S. (2010). Bullyingvictimization in youths and mental health problems: ‘Muchado about nothing’? Psychological Medicine, 40(5), 717–729.• American Association of Suicidology, Prevention Division.(1999). Guidelines for school based suicide preventionprograms. Washington, DC: American Association ofSuicidology• Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (2008). SPRC
ResourcesResources• Zenere, F., & Lazarus, P. (2009). The sustained reduction ofyouth suicidal behavior in an urban, multicultural schooldistrict. School Psychology Review, 18(2), 189–199• Wang, J., Iannotti, R., & Nansel, T. (2009). School bullyingamong 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 schoolbullying. Victims and Offenders, 4(4), 321–326.