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Suicide Prevention


Genetic Predisposition- Family history of suicide, depression or other psychiatric illnesses. ... Clinical depression often first appears in adolescence. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Suicide Prevention

  • Presented by
  • Robert L. Mate, M.S., NCC, LMHC
  • Assistant Dean of Students
  • Office of the Dean of Students

National Statistics
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the
    United States.
  • Suicide was the 8th leading cause of death for
    males, and 19th leading cause of death for

National Statistics
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among
    15-24 year-olds.
  • The total number of suicide deaths was 39,622.
  • Suicide by firearms was the most common method
    for both men and women, accounting for 55 of all
  • More men than women die by suicide. (41)
  • 73 of all suicide deaths are white males.
  • 80 of all firearm suicide deaths are white

College Statistics
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death
    among 20-24 year olds.
  • More teenagers die from suicide than from all
    medical illnesses combined.

College Statistics
  • One in 12 U.S. college students make a suicide
  • 9.5 of the 16,000 students surveyed had
    seriously contemplated suicide and 1.5 have made
    a suicide attempt.
  • Students who live with a spouse or domestic
    partner, or who belong to a sorority or
    fraternity, are less likely to think about
    suicide (less social isolation).

Higher Risk for Suicidal Ideation and Attempts on
Suicide Rates of College Students(per 100,000)
Risk Factors
  • Past history of attempted suicide - Between
    20 50 percent of people who kill themselves
    had previously attempted suicide.
  • Those who have made serious suicide attempts
    are at a much higher risk of actually taking
    their lives.

Risk Factors
  • Psychiatric Disorders.
  • Genetic Predisposition- Family history of
    suicide, depression or other psychiatric
  • Impulsivity.
  • -Impulsive individuals are more apt to act on
    suicidal impulses.
  • Males are three to five times more likely to
    commit suicide than females.
  • Precipitating event.

Warning Signs
  • Death or terminal illness of relative or
  • Divorce, separation, broken relationship,
    stress on family.

Warning/Danger Signs
  • Loss of job, home, money, self-esteem.
  • Has attempted suicide before.
  • Takes unnecessary risks.
  • Is preoccupied with death and dying.
  • Loses interest in their personal appearance.
  • Increase in their use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Depression.

Symptoms of Depression
  • Depressed mood.
  • Change in appetite or weight.
  • Change in sleeping patterns.
  • Speaking and/or moving with unusual speed or
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities.
  • Decrease in sexual drive.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy.

Warning/Danger SignsforFaculty/Staff
  • Despondent messages on exams Its no use.
    This will be the end of me.
  • Messages of hopelessness in term papers or
  • Emails of a distressed nature from students.

Warning/Danger Signs for Faculty/Staff
  • Sudden change in attendance and/or appearance.
  • Noticeable reduction in quality of work.
  • Significant disengagement.
  • Inappropriate use of alcohol/drugs.
  • Recent significance loss.
  • Off-handed comments about not being around or
    about death.

Common Expressions
  • Cant stop the pain.
  • Cant think clearly-cant get control.
  • Cant make decisions.
  • Cant see any way out.
  • Cant sleep, eat or work.
  • Cant get out of depression.
  • Cant make the sadness go away.
  • Cant see a future without pain.
  • Cant see themselves as worthwhile.
  • Cant get someones attention.

How To Help
  • Many people at some time in their lives think
    about committing suicide. Most decide to live,
    because they eventually come to realize that the
    crisis is temporary and death is permanent.

How To Help
  • Be direct. Talk openly.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of
    feelings and accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Dont lecture on the value of
  • Get involved. Become available.
  • Dont dare him/her to do it.

How To Help
  • Dont act shocked. This will put distance
    between you.
  • Dont be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do
    not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or
    stockpiled pills.
  • Get help from persons or agencies specializing in
    crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Where To Go For Help
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • Location
  • PSYC Building
  • Appointments and Information
  • 49-46995
  • 49-41724 24 hour on-call
  • http//
  • Purdue Student Health Center (PUSH)
  • Location
  • PUSH
  • Appointments and Information
  • 49-46995
  • http//

Where To Go For Help
  • Office of the Dean of Students
  • Location
  • Schleman Hall, Room 207
  • For an appointment and information
  • 49-41254
  • http//
  • Counseling and Guidance Center
  • Location
  • BRNG Hall, Room 3202
  • For an appointment and information
  • 49-49738
  • http//

Where To Go For Help
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic
  • SEE Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
  • Location
  • Fowler Hall
  • For Appointments and Information
  • 49-42939
  • http//
  • Lafayette Crisis Center
  • Location
  • 1244 North 15th Street, Lafayette, IN 47904
  • Crisis Line 742-0244
  • Teen Line 423-1872

  • 1. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
    Goals and Objectives for Action.
  • 2. Vastag B. Suicide prevention plan calls for
    physicians help. JAMA. 201285 (11)2701-2703
  • 3. Centers for Disease Control. National Center
    for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, Youth
    Risk Surveillance National College Health Risk
    Survey, 1995.
  • 4. Silverman M, et. al. The Big Ten Student
    Suicide Study A Ten-Year Study of Suicides on
    Midwestern University Campuses. Suicide and Life
    Threatening Behavior. 1997 27 (3), 285-307.
  • 5. US Department of Education, National Center
    for Education statistics. Digest of Educational
    Statistics Postsecondary Education. Web Site, accessed October 4,
  • 6. American College Health Association, National
    College Health Assessment Reference Group
    Report, Spring 2000. Baltimore American College
    Health Association 2001.

General Information
  • Danger/Warning Signs of Suicide
  • Risks
  • Suicide Crisis
  • Recognizing Depression

Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides
occur without any outward warning, most do not.
The most effective way to prevent suicide among
loved ones is to learn how to recognize the signs
of someone at risk, take those signs seriously
and know how to respond to them. The emotional
crises that usually precede suicide are most
often both recognizable and treatable.
Overview of Suicide and Mental Illness Among
College-Age Students cont.
  • Clinical depression often first appears in
  • The vast majority of young adults aged 18 and
    older who are diagnosed with depression do not
    receive appropriate or even treatment at all.

Recognizing Depression
  • All of the danger signs are magnified in
    importance if the patient is depressed. Serious
    depression can be manifested in obvious sadness,
    but often rather expressed as a loss of pleasure
    or withdrawal from activities that had been
  • Depression is present if at least five of the
    following symptoms have been present nearly every
    day for at least two weeks

Suicidal Behavior
  • Self-inflicted injuries, such as cuts, burns, or
    head banging.
  • Reckless behavior unexplained accidents.
  • Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect.
    Voices are telling them to do bad things.
  • Requests for euthanasia information,
    inappropriate joking, stories or essays on morbid

Higher Risks Group
  • Students who have a pre-existing mental health
    condition when they enter college.
  • Students who develop mental health problems
    during the college years.
  • Age, gender, ethnicity, and treatment status all
    have an impact on the risk profile.

Understanding and Helping the Suicidal Person
  • There is no typical suicide victim. It happens
    to young and old, rich and poor. Fortunately
    there are some common warning signs which when
    acted upon, can save lives.

What Can We Do?
  • College campus mental health centers cannot be
    the sole provider of support.
  • College administrators and counselors must work
    closely with the students, their families, their
    previous school systems, and other healthcare

What Can We Do? Cont.
  • A student who is socially shy may feel more
    comfortable at a smaller school that has a
    heightened sense of community.
  • The health provider must see that the student
    continues with their prescribed therapeutic
    regimens, whether it be medication, counseling or
    both in order to preserve treatment and
    likelihood of success in college.

What Can We Do? Cont.
  • Campuses that provide accessible resources or
    student services for academic assistance can help
    ameliorate these feelings of failure or
  • Students need to know where and from whom help is

What Can We Do? Cont.
  • Campus personnel who are close to the students,
    such as student advisors, resident advisors,
    faculty, and coaches, need to be informed about
    what to look for, as well as how to advise
    students on where to go for help.

  • More whites than African Americans, Asians, and
    Hispanics report being depressed, yet more Asians
    and Hispanics (although not African Americans)
    than white report seriously considering suicide.
    8 However, only 5-10 of African-American
    students will use on campus counseling services
    due to fear of stigma and parent/teacher

Treatment Status
  • Reports show 44.6 students have seriously
    considered suicide. 8 This means that
    campus-counseling centers may be dealing with
    students with suicidal ideation and potential
    suicide attempts in almost 1 out of every 2 cases
    they see.