RECOGNIZING ANDRESPONDINGTOSTUDENTS IN DISTRESS 2010 Resource Center Staff Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training
“I was much further out than you thought… and not waving but drowning”
LEARNING OBJECTIVES RECOGNIZE: Facts about depression and suicide Risk factors and warning signs for suicide INTERVENE: Asking someone about depression or suicide Listening carefully and compassionately REFER: Knowing campus and community resources Making an effective referral
DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE More people die annually in the United States by suicide than homicide--1.7 times more! (CDC website) Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students (American Association of Suicidology, 2003) Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44 (The World Health Organization, 2004).
RECOGNIZE Risk factors and warning signs – What are they? The need, i.e. your opportunity
RECOGNIZE – WARNING SIGNS Mood Changes Despair Isolation Displaying unusual anger (outbursts) or sadness/tearfulness Exaggerated mood swings Behavior Changes Skipping classes Unexplained poor academic performance Sudden changes in eating, sleeping habits Neglect of personal appearance Loss of interest in activities that once gave pleasure/meaning Acting out of character/personality change. Engaging in self-destructive or dangerous risk taking behavior Frequent arguments/fighting Increasing and/or abusive alcohol/drug use Suicide Specific Giving away valued possessions Statements about death/dying or suicidal threats Expression of hopelessness, helplessness or extreme loneliness
RECOGNIZE –ADDITIONAL RISK FACTORS Alcohol and substance abuse Recent sexual abuse or assault Recent physical abuse Prior attempt(s)/Family History of suicide Significant loss Poor test performance Relationship break-up Parental separation / divorce Death of loved one Physical illness Rejection by peers or family Actual or threatened humiliating experience
RECOGNIZE - ALCOHOL AND SUICIDE > 50% youth suicides involve alcohol or drugs Alcohol acts as a depressant Alcohol contributes to impulsive and/or reckless behavior Alcohol and some drugs impair problem solving & perspective taking Alcohol abuse may delay healthy coping skills
INTERVENE Ask Listen Don‟t judge Don‟t solve Not confidential Be compassionate
INTERVENE - BEFOREHAND1. Ideally, let a staff member know of your concern and your intent to approach the student you are worried about.2. Work out a plan for back-up help if you think you might need it.3. Invite student to meet with you in private. Ensure that you have adequate time and energy for this conversation.
INTERVENE1. Remain CALM, CARING, and CONFIDENT.2. Share your concerns and ask open-ended questions such as “How are you feeling?” or “What’s been going on lately?” Find the words that work for you.3. Listen without trying to change the person‟s feelings.4. Express empathy for how he/she is feeling and show you care for the person‟s welfare.5. If you think there‟s any possibility or risk, you must ask about suicide- directly or indirectly.
INTERVENE- ASKING ABOUT SUICIDE DIRECT IS BEST: Ask directly with a tone of care, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” or, “Are you thinking about suicide?” OTHER WAYS (More indirect) “Are you feeling so bad that you‟ve thought about hurting yourself?” “I‟ve noticed that you‟ve been pretty down lately. Have you thought about suicide?” “What did you mean when you said I might not see you again?” “Sometimes people…”
INTERVENE – TALKING ABOUT SUICIDE1. If “yes”, you can ask “What are these thoughts?”2. Wait and listen. Express care for the person‟s welfare. You can say, “Feeling suicidal is often temporary. Unbearable pain can be survived. Help is available. You are not alone.”3. If “yes”, you will be immediately involving others.4. If “no”, Turn the conversation towards seeking professional help. See persuasion toolkit.
REFER Normalize – feelings and help-seeking. Know the resources „warm handoff‟ is best Consult Take care of yourself.
REFER – PERSUASION TOOLKIT Normalize help seeking Normalize among his/her peers Self-disclosure Utilize your relationship & concern “This problem is bigger than you and me. Let‟s go talk to someone who can help you sort this out.” “You say that you‟d like to stop feeling so bad. I really believe that a counselor can help you with this.” Offer to call SHWC or accompany them “the warm handoff”
REFER – IF RISK IS SERIOUS1.Tell the person of your responsibility to inform your Coordinator and offer additional helping resources. Don‟t promise confidentiality or secrecy.2. Get help immediately. Inform your Coordinator or other staff and wait until the Coordinator is involved. Call the Student Health and Wellness Center.3. Be aware of whether other students are observing or involved and reach out to them if necessary when more help arrives.
STUDENT ROLE PLAYSIn Dyads – 10 minutesDiscussion to follow
RESOURCES Laurie Nielsen Victor Chang Not pictured: Diane Stamper Asha Goldstein
RESOURCES•Student Health and Wellness Center – 552-6137•Dean of Students – 552-6223•Women’s Resource Center – 552-6216•Queer Resource Center – 552-8328•Residential Life – 552-6377•Campus Security – 552-6911•Ashland Police Dept – 911•Ashland Community Hospital – 541-201-4000•Rogue Valley Medical Center – 541-789-7000•Jackson County HELPLINE 24 / 7 – 541-779-HELP•Jackson County Mental Health Crisis 24/7 – 541-774-8201•National Suicide Hotline – 1-800-SUICIDE•National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK
TO RECAP RECOGNIZE – educate yourself about suicide; see the needs and risks in your environment INTERVENE – be present and empathetic; ask about suicide and listen REFER – get them help; consult with others. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF - acknowledge difficult feelings that might arise; use the supports and resources available.
Victor ChangMental Health Services CoordinatorStudent Health & Wellness Center 541-552-6813 firstname.lastname@example.org