Suicide - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Every four hours in America a child commits suicide (Children's Defense Fund, 1999) ... Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Suicide

  • A permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Suicide facts
  • Every four hours in America a child commits
    suicide (Childrens Defense Fund, 1999)
  • An estimated 10-25 of the students in any high
    school are at risk for suicide in any given
    school year (Hahn, cited in Suicide in
    Children, 1998)

Suicide Facts
  • In 1995, according to the CDC (1998a) 2,227
    American children ages 10-19 year old committed
    suicide, and it is estimated that for every
    completed suicide there are 100-200 suicide
    attempts (Suicide Facts, 1998)

Suicide Facts
  • The United States has the highest suicide rate of
    26 industrialized nations studied by the federal
    government, a rate that is double that of other
    countries, according to CDC medical
    epidemiologist Dr. Etnienne Krug (U.S. Tops in
    Child Murder, 1997).

Suicide Facts
  • Since 1950, the rates of unintentional injury,
    disease, and congenital anomalies have decreased
    among children in the United States, but
    suicide rate have quadrupled (U.S. Tops in Child
    Murders, 1997).

Suicide Facts
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for
    youth between the ages of 15 and 24 and fourth
    for those 10-14.
  • The suicide rates of those between the ages of 10
    and 14 has increased 196 in the last 15 years.
  • Overall, African Americans have had the highest
    increase in suicide completion rates in the

Suicide Facts
  • Gay and lesbian youth are 200-300 more likely to
    attempt suicide and they may comprise 30 of
    youth suicide annually.
  • More teenagers died from suicide than from
    cancer, birth defects, AIDS, pneumonia,
    influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.

The relationship between suicide and homicideA
poem by a school shooter
  • Sinking into my bed
  • Homicidal thoughts filling my head
  • Suicidal thoughts not gone, but fleeting
  • Because it is other peoples death I am seeing
  • Suicide or homicide
  • Into sleep I am sinking
  • Why me I am thinking
  • Homicidal and suicidal thoughts intermixing
  • My lifes not worth fixing
  • Prior to school shootings ¾ of all attackers
    threatened to kill themselves, tried to kill
    themselves, or made suicidal gestures.

Nine Facts about Suicidal Individuals
  • The overwhelming majority of suicidal people
    (perhaps 95 of them) do not want to die.
  • The typical suicidal person wants to be rescued
    but has difficulty asking for assistance.
  • The suicidal person is confused and is searching
    for a strong, authoritarian person to direct his
    emotional traffic.

Facts continued
  • The suicidal person is in a highly suggestible
    state. They will likely respond to a voice of
    authority demanding that they behave in a
    prescribed manner.
  • Most suicidal people experience a suicidal
    episode only once in their lives.
  • People are acutely suicidal for only a brief
    period of time.

Facts continued
  • It is doubtful that anyone is constantly suicidal
    for an extended period of time.
  • The three important words that best describe a
    suicidal person are
  • Hopeless
  • Helpless
  • Hapless
  • The typical suicidal person is experiencing
    multiple problems at the same time.

  • Erosion
  • Suicide is not a spontaneous activity.
  • The precipitating event is not the cause of the
    suicide. There is no single cause of a suicide
    only causes (plural).

  • As a form of communication
  • If you understand that suicide is a demonstrative
    form of communication you will be less likely to
    treat the suicidal person in a punitive manner.
  • If you understand that suicidal behavior is an
    extreme form of communication, you will be more
    likely to recognize the early warning signs of
    suicidal risk.

  • Ambivalence is the emotional state most closely
    associated with suicidal behavior.
  • Suicidal individuals often feel that they want to
    live and die at the same time.
  • Ambivalent feelings are most prominent shortly
    before the person begins to harm himself
  • The suicidal person is much more negative about
    life than positive about death.

Warning signs of suicide
  • Previous suicide attempts or threats
  • Prolonged depression
  • Means to complete the suicide have been secured
  • Preoccupation with suicide themes or death
  • Not tolerating praise or rewards

Warning signs continued
  • Destructive or repetitive behavior
  • Scratching, cutting, or marking on the body
  • Becoming suddenly cheerful after a period of
    depression (this may indicate that the decision
    to commit suicide has been made).

Warning signs continued
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Decline in quality of school work
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Marked personality and/or behavior change
  • Persistent boredom, inability to concentrate

Warning signs continued
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Physical symptoms associated with emotion (e.g.
    stomach ache fatigue)
  • Putting affairs in order
  • Withdrawal from friends, family or activities
  • Verbal hints

Risk factors
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Current ideation, intent, and plan (resolve)
  • Exposure to suicide and/or family history of
  • Mental disorders particularly mood disorders
    such as depression and bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders (conduct and borderline)

Risk factors continued
  • Influence of significant people family members,
    celebrities, peers who have died by suicide
    both through direct personal contact or
    inappropriate media representations.
  • Local epidemics of suicide that have a contagious

Risk factors continued
  • Co-occurring mental and alcohol and substance
    abuse disorders
  • Hopelessness and helplessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Relational, social, work, or financial loss
  • Physical illness

Risk factors continued
  • Easy access to lethal methods, especially guns
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of stigma
    attached to mental and substance abuse disorders
    and/or suicidal thoughts
  • Cultural and religious beliefs for instance,
    the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of
    a personal dilemma

Risk factors continued
  • Isolation a feeling of being cut off from other
  • Ineffective coping mechanisms and inadequate
    problem solving skills
  • A confluence of multiple stressors (discipline,
    rejection/humiliation, end of romantic
    relationship, conflict with family or peers,
    unmet school goals

Protective Factors
  • Effective problem solving and interpersonal
    skills including conflict resolution and
    nonviolent handling of disputes.
  • Contact with a caring adult.
  • A sense of involvement/belonging to ones school,
    based on opportunities to participate in school
    activities and contribute to the functioning of
    the school (effective, positive school climate).

Protective Factors continued
  • Effective and appropriate clinical care for
    mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical
    interventions and support for those seeking help
  • Restricted access to highly lethal methods of

Protective Factors continued
  • Family and community support
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health
    care relationships
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage
    suicide and support self-preservation instinct

Suicide Precipitants?
  • Getting into trouble with authorities (e.g.,
    school, police)
  • Breakup from boy/girl friend
  • Death of a loved one
  • Disappointment and rejection such as a dispute
    with boy/girl friend, failure to get a job, or
    rejection from college
  • Bullying or victimization
  • Conflict with family or family dysfunction
  • Disappointment with school results or school
  • High demands at school during examination periods
  • Unwanted pregnancy, abortion
  • Infection with HIV or other sexually transmitted

Suicide precipitants?
  • The anniversary of a death of a friend or a loved
  • Knowing someone who committed suicide
  • Separation from friends, girl friends/boy friends
  • Real or perceived loss
  • Serious physical illness
  • Serious injury that may change the individuals
    life course.

Common Suicide Myths
  • People who talk about suicide do not commit it
  • You should not discuss suicide with youth because
    it gives them the idea to commit the act
  • Children are not capable of implementing a
    suicide plan successfully.
  • Suicidal youth really want to die.
  • When the depressive mood of a child improves, the
    threat of a suicide crisis is over
  • Children under the age of six do not commit
  • Only white males attempt suicide

Common Suicide Myths
  • Once a youth contemplates suicide he or she
    should always be considered suicidal
  • Suicide is inherited or destined through genetics
  • There is nothing anyone can do to prevent a
  • There are usually no warning signs of a suicide

The Dos of Suicide Intervention
  • Take away accessibility to the means
  • Adapt a positive approach, emphasize desirable
  • Sound calm and understanding
  • Use constructive questions to define the problem
    and remove confusion
  • Rephrase the important thoughts and feelings

The Dos of Suicide Intervention
  • Mention the family as a source of support if
  • Emphasize the temporary nature of a persons
    problems (This too shall pass).

The Donts of Suicide Intervention
  • Dont sound shocked
  • Dont stress the shock, embarrassment or pain
    that this could cause the family
  • Dont engage in debate
  • Dont try to physically remove a weapon

  • Identify pre-existing risk factors
  • Individuals
  • Events
  • Alter curriculum
  • Manage stress
  • Students
  • Faculty/Staff
  • Parents
  • Create and maintain discipline plan
  • Teach anger management
  • Conflict resolution and mediation training
  • Commit to health and safety at all levels

The role of the school
  • Promote inquiry
  • Construct and create a safe environment
  • Identify those at risk
  • Create partnerships with the community
  • Become a community school connectedness
  • Reach out to those who are different by choice or
  • Include parents
  • Train staff to listen

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