survivor of suicide
Coming Together To Care: Suicide Prevention Symposium
June 11, 2010 7:19pm CST
Coming together to care symposium Hi Everyone, I recently went to this suicide prevention symposium, and I thought some of you may be interested in parts of the conference, or know someone who may benefit. Below is a summary of the sessions I went to. If you want more information, or the PowerPoint that went along with the session let me know, and I will see what I can get for you. Plenary session on the 9th- Dr. David Rudd- The Use of Suicide Risk Assessment Dr. Rudd addresses the purpose of a checklist format for suicide risk assessments. He mentioned Atul Gawande who wrote a book about checklists for anyone who is interested. Dr. Rudd there are basically four step in saving a life. 1. Engage by building a relationship. (If there are reasons to die, perhaps there are reasons to live as well?) have the person explain why they want to die by suicide, then normalize the problem. If they are struggling with pulling the trigger, or taking that step to walk off the bridge then they are showing ambivalence which is a good thing. If they are ambivalent then maybe you can reach a common goal to reduce the suffering and emotional pain. 2. Evaluate (assess risk). First, understand the role of nature and intent (motivation to die). Is the person chronic (lifelong struggle) or acute (immediate threat)? Instead of getting a life history, find out the first attempt and the worst attempt. Are they prepared, has he rehearsed? Again, address reasons for living. 3. Educate, understand what “in treatment” means. Reduce shame, guilt, and self-hate. Provide an empirical foundation. 4. equip, define the crisis level, make help accessible, and identify warning signs. A possible tool is to provide a hope box, and practice using it. This seminar was mostly for counselors or doctors who deal with suicidal patients, but some of the information may be helpful if you are ever in a situation where someone needs your immediate help. At-Risk Training for High School Educators- Mary Ellen Nudd and Ron Goldman This is a new gaming technology for high school teachers to use as a way to identify “at-risk” students for depression/suicide. This is a pretty cool gaming system that will be first implemented this August at 1445 public high schools. Currently it is just going to be offered for high school employees, but as it is successful, and more programs are implemented they will become more accessible. It is basically an online game where the teacher, counselor, or administrator plays an adult role and is given scenarios on different students. 3 of the 5 need to see a counselor, but depending on the way you choose to communicate will determine whether or not you are successful, or if the student shuts down. There is already a program used by college educators for training, and I imagine more will come in the future. The Mental Health America of Texas and The company Kognito Interactive are working together to finalize the program for this fall. The link below is a demo of the college program. Follow this link and select the demo version to interact with the program. http://kognito.com/atrisk/ [b] Substance Use and Mental Health on College Campuses: Screening, Prevention, and Brief Interventions- Dr. Jason Kilmer[/b] http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/ “Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). In addition, annual follow-up questionnaires are mailed to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after their initial participation.” Dr. Kilmer presented the amount of alcohol and other drug abuse/use on college campuses and how it related to depression, anxiety, decision making and suicide. He presented many facts and numbers and also stated that we (college campuses) need to do a better job reaching out to students who may need help. He said that 30% of students report using tobacco and 32% report using marijuana in the past year. He also mentioned that certain drugs have a direct impact on depression like ecstasy, but other drugs such as alcohol and marijuana also have an impact. Both alcohol and marijuana affect your sleep so much that it causes sleep related problems that may take a toll on depressed individuals. When using Marijuana you have an increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, and 0 REM sleep, which cause effects like anxiety, sleep deprivation, weekend immune system, and so much more. With Alcohol the opposite happens, and you get a ton of REM sleep, but hardly any of the other 4 stages of sleep. This also causes problems when one is already depressed. Another website he gave is listed below. If you are interested in his power point, or know someone who might be let me know, he offered to email it to anyone who was interested. Collegedrinkingprevention.org ASK- Suicide Prevention Training- Marily Keller and Charlotte Caples ASK about suicide is a new non-proprietary gatekeeper training program being developed under the SAMHSA funded Youth Suicide Prevention Grant by MHA. This seems like a very simple training program that will soon be offered for free to anyone who is interested. Even if you don’t want to be involved in suicide prevention, I think it is a good knowledge base to have, just in case you ever run across someone who needs help. All you need is a general knowledge of suicide, believe that suicide can be prevented, and gain basic intervention skills. If you want more on this training let me know, and I will get more information for you. A-Ask about suicide S- Seek more information (and keep Safe) K- Know where and how to refer The New Face of Mean Girls and Bullying Boys- Benaye Rogers Bullycide is a new term for the reality of what is happening in schools, online, and in our communities. This is a combination of Bullying behaviors and suicide. There are only six states that have laws against bullying. Texas is not one of them. Texas offers a law that says it is illegal to harass a person online. We have a responsibility to act when a child comes to you and expresses fear from a bully, As adults we need to: intervene, discipline, work with a bullies anger control and thinking errors, and try to resolve the issue. If there are threats of violence or extortion, you have no excuse and Must report it! I have tons of resources on this, so if your interested in more information let me know. Mental Illness= Major Cause of Suicide: Spot the Signs and Save Lives- Catherine Weaver (NAMI) This workshop focused on the signs of mental illness, and helping friends and family get into treatment before a suicide occurs. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students and the third leading cause of death among youth 15-24. There are over 50,000 violent deaths in the US each year, and suicide counts for more than half of that number. It is the 11th leading cause of death in the US. 90% of persons who die by suicide have a medically diagnosable mental health problem at the time of death. It can be prevented! 75% of those received a diagnosis of depression/dysthymia, 14% with bipolar, and 8% with an anxiety disorder. She also spoke of chemical dependency in adolescence. Her son had schizophrenia and died by suicide. Did you know that schizophrenia is twice as common as HIV/AIDS? Mrs. Weaver had done lots of research, and if your interested I will send it to you. Her big push was NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), which seems to be a very good source if you are ever looking for answers to questions on mental issues, or if you want to get involved. http://www.nami.org/ I learned a lot at this symposium, and this just touches on the information I gained. I wanted to share with you all because I am sure some of it can be used for your knowledge base, or you know someone who needs some of this information. There were tons of workshops, but I could only get to a few. I do believe lots of the information will be available online soon, and if it is, I will provide that link.
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