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Suicide The Silent Epidemic

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For 15-24 year olds, suicide is the third leading cause of death, 86% male, ... classroom includes one boy and two girls who attempted suicide in the past year. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Suicide The Silent Epidemic


1
Suicide The Silent Epidemic
  • Kevin Thompson
  • Director of Health Promotion
  • Weber-Morgan Health Department

2
National Suicide Facts
  • Suicide took the lives of 30,622 Americans in
    2001.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the
    United States.
  • For 15-24 year olds, suicide is the third leading
    cause of death, 86 male, 14 female.
  • Suicide rates are higher than the national
    average in the intermountain states, including
    Utah, lower in the eastern and midwestern states.

3
National Suicide Facts
  • Suicide by firearms is the most common method for
    both men and women, accounting for 55 of all
    suicides.
  • Males are four times more likely to die from
    suicide than females.
  • 72 of all suicides are committed by white men.
  • 79 of all firearm suicides are committed by
    white men.

4
Attempted Suicides
  • In 2001, 132,353 individuals were hospitalized
    following suicide attempts, 116,639 were treated
    in emergency rooms and released.
  • There are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides to
    one completion.
  • Women report attempting suicide during the
    lifetime about three times as often as men.

5
Youth Suicide in Perspective
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for
    adolescents and young adults.
  • Since peaking in the early 1990s, suicide rates
    have fallen sharply for most adolescents.
  • Within the past 12 months
  • One in five adolescents seriously considered
    attempting suicide
  • One in six made a specific suicide plan
  • One in 12 attempted suicide
  • A typical U.S. high school classroom includes one
    boy and two girls who attempted suicide in the
    past year.

6
Suicide Among the Elderly
  • The highest suicide rates of any age group occur
    among persons aged 65 and older.
  • The elderly have a higher prevalence of
    depression, are more socially isolated, more
    frequently use highly lethal methods, make fewer
    attempts per completed suicide, have a higher
    male-to-female ration, have often visited a
    health-care provider before their suicide, and
    have more physical illnesses.

7
Suicide Among the Elderly
  • It is estimated that 20 of elderly persons who
    commit suicide visited a physician within 24
    hours of their act, 41 within a week, and 75
    within a month.
  • Firearms account for 71 of elderly suicide
    followed by overdose (11) and suffocation (11)
  • In 1998, men accounted for 84 of elderly
    suicides. Among males aged 75 years the rate for
    divorced men was 3.4 times and widowed men was
    2.6 times that for married men.

8
Utah Suicide Facts
  • Utah has the 10th highest overall suicide rate in
    the U.S., 30 higher than U.S. rate.
  • Suicide is now the leading cause of death for
    males age 15-44 in Utah.
  • Demographically similar to U.S., 88 occur among
    males, 64 by firearm.
  • While Nevada has the highest overall suicide
    rate, Utah, Montana and Wyoming have the highest
    youth suicide rates.

9
Risk Factors
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • History of mental disorders, particularly
    depression
  • History of alcohol and/or substance abuse
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Physical illness

10
Risk Factors
  • Loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities
  • Giving away cherished possessions
  • Morbid ideation
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and/or
    isolation
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of stigma
  • Cultural and religious beliefs

11
Risk Factors
  • Recent loss (relational, social, work, or
    financial)
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Barriers to accessing mental health services

12
Utah Youth Suicide StudyUtah Dept. of Health,
University of Utah College of Medicine, Primary
Childrens Medical Center, Utah Suicide
Prevention Task Force
  • Psychological Autopsies of 131 youth suicides
    cases
  • 65 had contact with the juvenile justice system
  • 41 had contact with DCFS
  • 21 had contact with Child Protective Services
  • 73 had contact with any agency
  • 47 had a past history of school suspension or
    expulsion
  • 39 had received a special education evaluation
  • 28 of school-age youth had dropped out of school

13
Utah Youth Suicide Study
  • Risk factors identified
  • Males are at higher risk
  • Contact with juvenile justice system increases
    risk 5 times
  • Behavioral problems in school increases risk
  • Intervention through DHS allows for earlier
    contact and possible prevention
  • High rate of co-morbid mental disorders among
    males (mood disorders, substance and/or alcohol
    abuse, conduct disorder)

14
Verbal Warning Signs
  • I am going to kill myself.
  • I want to die.
  • I cant stand living anymore.
  • Dont worry about me, I wont be around much
    longer
  • My family would be better without me.
  • Ive had enough I am ending it all.

15
Protective Factors
  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and
    substance abuse disorders.
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical
    interventions and support for help seeking.
  • Family and community support.
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution
    and nonviolent handling of disputes.
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage
    and support self-preservation instincts.

16
What to Do
  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about
    suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of
    feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Dont debate whether suicide
    is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad.
    Dont lecture on the value of life.
  • Source American Association of Suicidology

17
What to Do
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and
    support.
  • Dont dare him or her to do it.
  • Dont act shocked. This will put distance between
    you.
  • Dont be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Source American Association of Suicidology

18
What to Do
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do
    not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or
    stockpiles pills.
  • Get help from persons or agencies specializing in
    crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
  • Source American Association of Suicidology
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