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Suicide

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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


1
Suicide
  • A permanent solution to a temporary problem.

2
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)

3
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)

4
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).

5
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).

6
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
    1990s.

7
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.

8
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.

9
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.

10
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.

11
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.

12
  • 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).

13
  • 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.

14
Ambivalence
  • 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
    (herself).
  • The suicidal person is much more negative about
    life than positive about death.

15
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

16
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).

17
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

18
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

19
Risk factors
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Current ideation, intent, and plan (resolve)
  • Exposure to suicide and/or family history of
    suicide
  • Mental disorders particularly mood disorders
    such as depression and bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders (conduct and borderline)

20
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
    influence

21
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

22
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

23
Risk factors continued
  • Isolation a feeling of being cut off from other
    people
  • 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

24
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).

25
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
    suicide

26
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

27
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
    failure
  • High demands at school during examination periods
  • Unwanted pregnancy, abortion
  • Infection with HIV or other sexually transmitted
    diseases

28
Suicide precipitants?
  • The anniversary of a death of a friend or a loved
    one
  • 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.

29
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
    suicide
  • Only white males attempt suicide

30
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
    suicide
  • There are usually no warning signs of a suicide

31
The Dos of Suicide Intervention
  • Take away accessibility to the means
  • Adapt a positive approach, emphasize desirable
    alternatives
  • Sound calm and understanding
  • Use constructive questions to define the problem
    and remove confusion
  • Rephrase the important thoughts and feelings

32
The Dos of Suicide Intervention
  • Mention the family as a source of support if
    appropriate
  • Emphasize the temporary nature of a persons
    problems (This too shall pass).

33
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

34
Prevention
  • 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

35
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
    accident
  • Include parents
  • Train staff to listen
  • BE PREPARED

36
  • www. ChildrensSafetyNetwork.org
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