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Suicide Prevention For Youth


Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages 15-24 in Wyoming. ... Wyoming's rate of suicide among youth age 15-24 is 32 per 100,000 population ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Suicide Prevention For Youth

Suicide Prevention For Youth
  • Presented by the
  • Wyoming Suicide Prevention Task Force

  • It was on the last day of school when I tried
    to commit suicide. It was totally unexpected.
    The day before the kids were really teasing me,
    so I went up the tree I always used to climb. I
    tied a rope from its highest branch and then tied
    a noose around my neck. . . Mom caught me. She
    stopped me so I wouldnt choke to death.
  • -Brandon Fletcher, suicide attempt survivor at
    age 12

  • About half of the youth who survive a suicide
    attempt will try again. The strongest predictor
    of youth suicide is a previous attempt.

Overview of U. S. Suicide in the General
  • 1.2 of all deaths are suicides
  • 80 suicides per day
  • 30,000 suicides per year
  • 2,000 suicide attempts per day
  • 730,000 suicide attempts per year

Overview of U. S. Suicide in the General
  • Suicide is 11th leading cause of death
  • 1.7 suicides for every homicide in America
  • Twice as many die from suicide as from HIV/AIDS
  • One out of every 62 Americans is a suicide
    attempt survivor

Overview of U. S. Suicide in the General
  • Males die by suicide more often than females
  • 73 of suicide victims are white males.
  • Females attempt suicide more often than males

National Youth Suicide Facts
  • In 2000, 3 million students age 12 to 17 reported
    seriously considering suicide in the past year
  • 37 of these students reported attempting suicide
    in the past year
  • More teens and young adults die from suicide than
    from all other diseases combined

Wyoming General Population Statistics
  • State suicide rate in 2002 was 21/100,000
  • 106 Wyoming citizens died by suicide
  • Wyoming currently ranks first in the nation in
    the rate of suicide (2002).
  • The suicide rate in the Mountain states
    consistently ranks the highest in the nation.

Wyoming Youth Statistics
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among
    youth ages 15-24 in Wyoming.
  • 23 of all suicides in Wyoming in 2002 were among
    youth, age 15-24.
  • Wyomings rate of suicide among youth age 15-24
    is 32 per 100,000 population of that age group.
    The national rate is about 10.

Wyoming Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2003
  • One of every 6 middle school students surveyed
    have ever made a plan to kill themselves.
  • One of every 6 high school students surveyed made
    a plan to kill themselves within the last 12
  • About 1 in 10 high school students have attempted
    suicide in the past 12 months.

Wyoming Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2003
  • About 1 of every 3 high school students surveyed
    reported that during the past 12 months, they
    felt so sad and hopeless every day for 2 weeks or
    more that they stopped doing some usual

Suicide Among Youth
  • Most suicide attempts among youth occur in the
    afternoon or early evening in the teens home.
  • Most youth suicide attempts are preceded by
    interpersonal conflicts.
  • Repeat attempters use their behavior as a way to
    cope with stressors in their life.

Suicide Among Youth
  • Over half of teens who die by suicide abuse
  • Three of four teens who are aware of anothers
    suicidal thoughts do not tell an adult.

Suicide and Mental Illness
  • 90 of people who die by suicide suffer from a
    mental illness.

Nature of Mental Illness
Mental Illness
  • Nearly half of Americans will suffer from one or
    more mental illnesses during their lifetime
  • One of every 3 Americans will experience an
    episode of mental illness each year

What is Mental Illness?
  • A variety of medical conditions involving
    disorders of thoughts and/or emotions
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Family history of mental illness and stressful
    life events can be contributing factors
  • Effective treatments are available

Signs of Depression
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Sudden changes in eating, appearance, or behavior
  • Sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all
  • Secretive behavior
  • Dramatic change in friends
  • Death and suicidal themes appearing in artwork,
    writing, or school work

Signs of Depression
  • Increased irritability, restlessness or agitation
  • Persistent sadness
  • Frequent physical complaints such as headaches
    and stomachaches
  • Lack of enthusiasm or motivation
  • Over-reaction or criticism

  • Everyone feels low or down at times. When sad
    feelings persist and begin to interfere with the
    ability to function in daily life, it could be
  • Suicide can occur when emotional pain is not

Suicide Risk Factors
  • Prior suicide attempt
  • History of physical or sexual abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Impulsivity
  • Exposure to suicide in family or friends

Suicide Risk Factors
  • Recent severe stressor (e.g., school failure,
    real or imagined loss, unplanned pregnancy, or
    sexual orientation issues)
  • Family loss, instability or severe conflict
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse or intoxication
  • Access to lethal means

Suicide Risk Factors
  • Giving away valued possessions
  • Suicide threats and statements (I wont be
    around here much longer)
  • Making a suicide plan

Myths and Facts
  • Myth People who attempt suicide rarely actually
    reach out or give clues to others about their
    state of mind.
  • Fact People who commit suicide often do give a
    clue or warning of their intentions. HOWEVER,
    anywhere from 5 - 50 of school age youth who
    die by suicide do not give consistent warning

Myths and Facts
  • Myth The suicidal person wants to die and feels
    there is no turning back.
  • Fact Suicidal persons often do not want to die
    but see no other way to end their pain.

Myths and Facts
  • Myth Persons who experience an episode of
    suicidal thinking tend to remain in this state of
    mind forever.
  • Fact Suicidal thinking is often a relatively
    brief reaction to circumstances. Over time,
    individuals can learn to deal more effectively
    with lifes challenges.

Myths and Facts
  • Myth If you ask a person directly, Do you feel
    like killing yourself? this will lead to a
    suicide attempt.
  • Fact Asking a person directly about suicidal
    intent will often relieve the anxiety surrounding
    the feeling and act as a deterrent to the
    suicidal behavior.

Myth and Facts
  • Myth Talking about suicide and self-destructive
    behavior is just a bid for attention and should
    be ignored.
  • Fact Suicidal talk and self-destructive
    behavior are serious and can be lethal. Anyone
    who behaves self-destructively could benefit from
    professional help.

Myths and Facts
  • Myth Feeling better after a suicidal crisis
    means that the suicidal risk is over.
  • Fact When a suicidal person begins to feel
    better, he/she may have made the decision to die
    and is no longer struggling with the pressures of
    living. Even if the person has decided to live,
    he/she will still be confronted with problems and
    responsibilities. A supportive relationship
    during and after a crisis is critical to the
    healing process.

Myths and Facts
  • Myth Only mental health professionals can
    prevent suicide.
  • Fact Intervention by family and friends can be
    an important and significant part of suicide

What Can You Do?
  • Listen to the individual
  • Encourage the person to share their feelings
  • Know and look for suicide risk factors
  • Talk with the person about your concerns
  • Tell them you care and want to help
  • Speak with care and compassion
  • Ask directly about thoughts of suicide

What Can You Do?
  • Take reports of suicidal ideation seriously
  • Contact a reliable family member or close friend
  • Get professional help
  • Even if the person resists, call 911 if necessary
  • Offer to take them to the emergency room or a
    mental health professional
  • Offer to help them schedule an appointment
  • Follow-up to make sure the person is getting help

What Can You Do?
  • Dont leave them alone
  • Be calm - dont act shocked or be judgmental
  • Dont swear to keep it a secret
  • Dont try to counsel the person
  • Limit access to firearms and other means of

What Can You Say?
  • Ive noticed youre feeling upset
  • Whats going on in your life?
  • Are you thinking about suicide?
  • What do you think might help?
  • Where would you like to seek help?
  • Why dont we make the call together?
  • Im not going to feel comfortable without being
    sure youre going to get some help.

Where To Seek Help
  • A trusted adult
  • School Personnel
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Physicians/Nurses
  • Other health care professionals
  • 911/Law Enforcement

Does Suicide Prevention Education Work?
  • The most important task is to become informed
    in order to get beyond our fears so that we act
    effectively if a crisis arises. We must be
    knowledgeable about the warning signs that 75 of
    suicidal persons present. We must know where to
    get help for the person in crisis. And, we need
    to know what we can do to help.
  • Former U.S. Surgeon General
  • David Satcher, M.D.