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 2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 1 1 Yellow Ribbon International Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training for Adults 

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Presentation on theme: " 2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 1 1 Yellow Ribbon International Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training for Adults "— Presentation transcript:

1  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 1 1 Yellow Ribbon International Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training for Adults 

2  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 2 2 Why Address Suicide?  3rd leading cause of death for ages  The fastest growing age group is the year olds.  Approximately 750,000 Americans attempt suicide.  Approximately 30,000 people die. It is estimated that suicides may be two to three times greater than official statistics. (American Psychiatric Association,1985) 2 1 CDC Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet 2ERIC Digests

3  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 3 3 Why Address Suicide? 8,270 Parents (2 each) 12,405 Siblings (3 each) 16,540 Grandparents (4 each) 24,810 Friends & and Classmates (6 each) 28,945 Teachers and (SRO’s) (7 each) 90,970 Lives are directly affected Nationally 4,135 suicides (ages 15-24) in 2000

4  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 4 4 How does YR Address Suicide?  With a universal prevention strategy: target everyone  With a community-based approach to Increase Protective Factors and to Decrease Risk Factors  YR does not displace or replace any professional, rather we work as adjunct organization

5  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 5 5 How does YR Address Suicide? With Be-A-Link!  Gatekeeper Training for adults and Ask4Help Suicide Prevention Program for youth. Gatekeepers are: School personnel, SRO’s, parents, grandparents, public safety, medical people, youth leaders and community members. Building gatekeeper LINKS in the community

6  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 6 6 Links of Suicide Prevention  Awareness (Stay) Yellow Ribbon Gatekeeper  Respond (Listen) Yellow Ribbon Gatekeeper  Take Action (Get for Help) YR Gatekeeper  Assessment Partner / Community Professional  Referral Partner / Community Professional

7  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 7 7 Talking about suicide may cause someone to try it People who talk about killing themselves rarely follow through – they are only looking for attention Every suicide statement must be taken seriously! People in crisis need to talk - it helps relieve the terrible isolation that can lead to suicide. (D. Bergman, M.D. Kids on the Brink 1990) Suicide Myths and Facts

8  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 8 8 Suicidal people want to die & no one can stop them Most suicidal crisis lasts a short period of time – and people often call for help immediately following a suicide attempt. Suicidal people keep their plans secret Most suicidal people send out warning signs during the week before their attempt Suicide Myths and Facts

9  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 9 9 Friends shouldn’t do anything in a suicidal crisis, only professionals can prevent suicide As with First Aid and CPR, assisting in a crisis is critical. Professionals can’t do anything until we LINK them to those in crisis. There is no correlation between substance abuse and suicide 50% of youth who complete suicide have a history of recent use Suicide Myths and Facts

10  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 10  Depression - A medical illness of the brain  Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood  Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed  Marked change in weight  Fatigue / loss of energy  Difficulty concentrating, remembering and making decisions  Persistent physical symptoms (headaches, stomachaches) Situational

11  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 11  Previous suicide attempt  Loss of health, major illness, relationships  Lack of support system; sense of isolation  Sexual orientation - gender identification issues  Abuse; being teased, bullied or excluded  Disciplinary crisis Situational

12  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 12 Writing a will, making funeral plans Giving things away, saying goodbye Acquiring lethal means; acquiring or obsession with guns or knives or stockpiling pills 60% of all people who complete suicide use a firearm Behavioral

13  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 13 Behavioral Writing or drawing about death and/or suicide Risk-taking behavior or self-harm (cutting, burning) Irritability, angry outbursts Isolating, withdrawal; friends, family or favorite activities Increased use of drugs or alcohol - 50% of people who attempt suicide are under the influence at the time.

14  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 14 Direct Statements:  “I’m going to kill myself”  “I wish I were dead”  “If (such and such) happens, I’ll kill myself”  “I don’t want to live” Verbal

15  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 15 Indirect Statements:  “Nobody needs me”  “You won’t have to be around me much longer”  “You would be better off without me”  “I just can’t take it anymore” Verbal

16  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 16 The most commonly cited warnings  extreme changes in behavior  a previous suicide attempt  a suicidal threat or statement  signs of depression ERIC Digests ED340152,

17  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 17  Family and Community (Peer)  Support - a sense of connectedness to others  Access to resources and mental health Services  Learn Lifeskills (the Ask for Help lifeline card)

18  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 18 Ask 4 Help!  Card  Began in 1994 when teens responded to Mike Emme’s parents when they said, “Please don’t attempt suicide, please ask for help!”  Ask for Help!  cards with message of help, hope and resources were created  Teens mailed cards everywhere  Global awareness with publication of Chicken Soup for the Soul - 3rd Serving and CS for Teenage Soul

19  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 19 Tells you what to do to ask for help for yourself or a friend Don’t have to have a card to ask for help Ask 4 Help!  Card American Association of Suicidology study reports that 78% of adolescents go to peers for help before they go to an adult

20  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 20 Step 1: Stay with the person Unless there is risk of harm to yourself. Ask 4 Help!  Card

21  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 21 Step 2: Listen - really listen. You are that person’s lifeline It is OK to say:  What can I do to help?  Who can we call that you would like to talk to?  Let’s call the hotline (or walk down to the counselor) together and see what they suggest for the next step to getting us help. Ask 4 Help!  Card

22  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 22 Step 3: Get, or call for Help Immediately Call your parent, their parent, school counselor, pastor or rabbi or crisis hotlines SUICIDE ( ) or TALK ( ) or 911 Ask 4 Help!  Card

23  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 23 Talk to your teen/youth...  Show them the Yellow Ribbon card  Tell them what you’ve learned about suicide today  Ask them “Do you know about the YR program?” “Do you know anyone who has thought of suicide?” “Do you know anyone who has ever attempted suicide?”

24  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 24  Ask them “Have you ever thought about attempting suicide?” “What can I do to help?” “We can get through this together.” “I ‘m with you, and we will find help.” “Will you go with me to get help?” Talk to your teen/youth...

25  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 25  Spend time with family and friends  Consider the role of spirituality in your life  Get involved with after-school activities  Believe in yourself  Laugh, keep your sense of humor  Volunteer, you are needed  Exercise regularly  Eat right. Chocolate is good! Coping Strategies

26  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 26 After responding to a cry to help  Debrief after helping suicidal person  OK if you have feelings of being upset, scared or tense  Professional response specialists debrief too.  Talk to someone you trust - counselor, clergy

27  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 27 Be A Link!  Protocol  Many schools do not have suicide specific crisis protocols  Most states have laws requiring educators to seek help for a student who is a ‘danger to himself/herself or others’ Setting the protocol into action will help relieve the educator of potential liability.  There is liability in doing nothing after becoming aware of someone’s risk.

28  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 28 Be A Link!  Protocol for Schools Trusted Adult Crisis Team Member: Contact name and number Designated Site Administrator: Contact name and number Parent / Guardian: Contact name and number Local professional: Contact name and number Additional Team Member : Contact name and number Person in Crisis

29  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 29 Doing prevention work in the postvention time is vitally important and does save lives. It addresses the needs in the aftermath of suicide(s) or suicidal crisis and can impact the ‘new high risk’ group with lifesaving tools. The Yellow Ribbon Postvention handbook guide helps schools prepare a clear and effective postvention plan for staff, students, parents and media. Postvention and Prevention

30  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 30 DON’T...  Leave the person alone  Be sworn to secrecy  Keep it a secret  Be glib or dismissing of the problem  Counsel - your role is to Be-A-Link

31  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 31 DO REMEMBER…  Those who talk about suicide often DO kill themselves  Be aware. Learn the warning signs and to listen  To be non-judgmental, reassuring and positive  That If you suspect suicide ideation, ask about it !  To offer hope that alternatives are available

32  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 32 Continue Suicide Prevention  Talk about suicide prevention in classrooms, church youth group or adult forums  Be a sponsor to a Yellow Ribbon Club  Wear, use and display the Yellow Ribbon symbol  Participate & support annual Yellow Ribbon events  Keep a supply of cards & brochures available

33  2003 Yellow Ribbon Int’l Be-A-Link  ~ Save a Life! 33 “The Yellow Ribbon Card has no expiration date” Stan Collins, President Yellow Ribbon International Youth Council His statement when testifying before U.S. Senate Sub Committee Hearing on Children and Family - May 2001 


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