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Youth and Suicide


From 1994 2003, 797 people committed suicide in North Dakota. ... Suicide by firearms is almost three times more prevalent than the next most ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Youth and Suicide

Youth and Suicide
  • Whats Going On

What is Project ACE?
  • A collaborative effort including business people,
    government officials, law enforcement leaders,
    social service professionals, and K-16
  • Using a community-based assets driven approach to
    change attitudes and behavior.
  • Seeking to encourage Action, foster Commitment,
    and offer Education for the purpose of helping
    young people in our region make healthier choices
    with regard to six challenging issues in their
    lives .....

Project ACE
  • Alcohol
  • Methamphetamine other drugs
  • Suicide
  • Violence
  • Sexual Activity
  • Gambling

Project ACE Why?
  • Because we care about young people in southwest
    North Dakota.
  • Recognize the critically important role young
    people will play in the future successes and
    vitality of North Dakota.

Community Partners
  • Badlands Human Service Center
  • Bureau of Criminal Investigation
  • Community Action Partnership
  • Department of Public Instruction
  • Dickinson Ministerial Association
  • Dickinson Police Department
  • Dickinson State University
  • Domestic Violence Rape Crisis Center
  • Elected Officials
  • North Dakota Highway Patrol
  • Quality Quick Print
  • Region VIII School
  • Rural Crime and Justice Center
  • SW Judicial District Juvenile Court
  • St. Josephs Hospital Health Care Center
  • Stark County Sheriffs Department
  • Stark County Social Services
  • Southwestern District Health Unit
  • West Dakota Parent Family Resource Center

  • Suicide is a death from injury, poisoning, or
    suffocation where there is evidence that a
    self-inflicted act led to the persons death.

Suicide Attempt
  • Suicide attempt is a potentially self-injurious
    behavior with a nonfatal outcome, for which there
    is evidence that the person intended to kill
    himself or herself a suicide attempt may or may
    not result in injuries.

Suicidal behavior
  • Suicidal behavior is a spectrum of activities
    related to thoughts and behaviors that include
    suicidal thinking, suicide attempts, and
    completed suicide.

If a firearm is accessible to a suicidal youth,
the chances of a fatality double.
  • Over 2.3, or 1600 North Dakota teens reported
    making a suicide attempt that resulted in an
    injury needing medical attention in 2001

Suicide a permanent solution to a temporary
  • More teens die from suicide than from cancer,
    heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, strokes,
    pneumonia, influenza, and lung disease combined.

Suicide is preventable.
  • Like traffic fatalities, we can reduce the high
    rates of suicide among North Dakotas youth.

State wide FACTS
  • From 1994 2003, 797 people committed suicide in
    North Dakota. This averages out to about 80
    people per year or almost eleven each month.
  • There are more than five males for every female
    suicide in North Dakota.
  • Firearms account for 58 of all suicides in North
    Dakota more people commit suicide by firearms
    than all other methods combined.
  • Suicide by firearms is almost three times more
    prevalent than the next most common method of

State wide FACTS (cont.)
  • The highest average suicide rates for 1994-2003
    were in the 45-54 age group (17.6) and the 15-25
    age group (16.8).
  • For the years 1997 2001, suicide was the
    seventh leading cause of death in ND.

State wide FACTS (cont.)
  • Although the white population had seven times
    more deaths by suicide than the Native American
    population in the last ten years, because of the
    population base, the suicide rates for Native
    Americans were almost three times that of the
    white population.
  • Between 1994 and 2002, the suicide rate was
    higher than the national average eight of the
    nine years.


  • Although most depressed people are not suicidal,
    most suicidal people are depressed.

  • 70 of people who commit suicide tell someone
    about it in advance, and most are not in
  • Those who make serious attempts are at much
    higher risk for actually taking their lives.
    Between 20 and 40 of people who kill themselves
    have previously attempted suicide.
  • Nearly 50 of suicide victims have a positive
    blood alcohol level.

Estimated Hospital Attempts, 1999 2002
  • An annual average of 345 hospitalized attempts
    per year.
  • Average of almost 1 attempt per day.

Estimated Hospital Attempts, 1999 2002
Statewide - Gender
  • Males 41
  • Females 59

Attempts by Method Statewide
  • Poisoning leading method 290 annual attempts
  • Cut/Pierce 2nd leading method 24 annual attempts

Suicides, 1999 2002 Statewide
  • Average of 78 residents died by suicide each
  • Average approximately 1 suicide every 5 days.

Suicides, 1999 2002 Gender - Statewide
  • Males 81
  • Females 19
  • Male suicide rate is more than 4 times greater
    than female rate.

Suicides by attempts Statewide
Common Warning Signs
  • Giving away favorite possessions.
  • A marked or noticeable change in behavior.
  • Previous suicide attempts and statements
    revealing a desire to die.
  • Depression.
  • Inappropriate good-byes.
  • Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect
    You wont have to worry about me anymore I
    want to go to sleep and never wake up
  • Purchase a gun or medications.
  • Alcohol and other drug use.
  • Sudden happiness after a long depression.
  • Obsession about death and talk about suicide.
  • Decline in performance of work, school or other
  • Deteriorating physical appearance or reckless

Beware of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
  • Nearly everyone at some time in his or her life
    thinks about suicide. Most decide to live
    because they come to realize that the crisis they
    are experiencing is temporary, but death is not.
    On the other hand, people in the midst of a
    crisis often perceive their dilemma as
    inescapable and feel an utter loss of control.

Other factors
  • Research has shown that most adolescent suicides
    occur after school hours and in the teens home.

Other factors
  • Not all adolescent attempters may admit their
    intent. Therefore, any deliberate self-harming
    behaviors should be considered serious and in
    need of further evaluation.
  • The typical profile of an an adolescent non-fatal
    suicide attempter is a female who ingests pills,
    while the profile of the typical completer
    suicide is a male who dies from a gunshot wound.

Among college students
  • One in 12 college students have made a suicide
  • It is estimated that there are more than 1,000
    suicides on college campuses per year.
  • Of the students who had seriously considered
    suicide, 4.8 reported feeling so sad to the
    point of not functioning at
  • least once in the past year,
  • and 94.4 reported feeling
  • hopeless.

If you experience any of these feelings, get
help! If you know someone who exhibits these
feelings, offer help.
  • Cant stop the pain
  • Cant think clearly
  • Cant make decisions
  • Cant see any way out
  • Cant sleep, eat, or work
  • Cant get out of the depression
  • Cant make the sadness go away
  • Cant see the possibility of change
  • Cant see themselves as worthwhile
  • Cant get someones attention
  • Cant seem to get control

High Risk Life Events Associated with Suicide
  • Death or terminal illness of a loved one.
  • Divorce, separation, or broken relationship.
  • Loss of health (real or imaginary)
  • Loss of job, home, money, self-esteem, personal
  • Anniversaries.
  • Difficulties with school, family, the law.

What to do
  • Take suicide threats seriously, be direct, open
    and honest in communication.
  • Listen, allow the individual to express their
    feelings and express your concerns in a
    non-judgmental way.
  • Say things like, Im here for you, Lets
    talk, Im here to help
  • Ask, Are you having suicidal thoughts? A
    detailed plan indicates greater risk.
  • Take action sooner than later.
  • Get them connected with professional help.
  • Dispose of pills, drugs, and guns.
  • Do not worry about being disloyal to the
    individual contact a reliable family member or
    close friend of the person.

What not to do
  • Do not leave the person alone if you feel the
    risk to his/her safety is immediate.
  • Do not treat the threat lightly even if the
    person begins to joke about it.
  • Do not act shocked or condemn. There may be
    another cry for help.
  • Do not point out to him/her how much better off
    they are than others. This increases feelings of
    guilt and worthlessness.
  • Do not swear yourself to secrecy.
  • Do not offer simple solutions.
  • Do not suggest drugs or alcohol as a solution.
  • Do not judge the person.
  • Avoid arguments.
  • Do not try to counsel the person yourself.

  • Do take it seriously. 70 of all people who
    commit suicide give some warning of their
    intentions to a friend or family member.
  • Do be willing to listen. Even if professional
    help is needed, your loved one will be more
    willing to seek help if you have listened to him
    or her.

  • Do voice your concern. Take the initiative to
    ask what is troubling your loved one, and attempt
    to overcome any reluctance on their part about
  • Let the person know you care and understand.
    Reassure them that they are not alone. Explain
    that even if it seems hard to believe right now,
    suicidal feelings although powerful are only
    temporary, and that the usual cause (depression)
    can be treated.
  • Ask if the person has a specific plan. Ask if a
    suicidal plan exists.

  • Do get professional help immediately.
  • If the person seems unwilling to accept
  • Make a call for help
  • If the person seems willing to accept treatment,
    do one of the following ....
  • Bring the person to a local emergency room or
    a mental health professional. Your friend will
    be more likely to seek help if you accompany him
    or her.

Survivors of Suicide
  • A survivor of suicide is a family member or
    friend of a person who died by suicide.
  • Approximately 5 million Americans became
    survivors of suicide in the last 25 years.

About Suicidal Grief
  • The loss of a loved one by suicide is often
    shocking, painful and unexpected.
  • Each person will experience it in their own way
    and at their own pace.
  • Survivors often struggle with the reasons why the
    suicide occurred and whether they could have done
    something to prevent the suicide or help their
    loved one.

Talk to someone You are not alone CONTACT
  • A community mental health agency
  • A school counselor or psychologist
  • A private therapist
  • A family physician
  • A religious/spiritual leader
  • Emergency services
  • Crisis Line