Presentation on theme: "Suicide in America “Suicide is a national public health problem.” David Satcher, M.D. Surgeon General of the United States Instructor bullet points: Dr."— Presentation transcript:
1 Suicide in America“Suicide is a national public health problem.” David Satcher, M.D. Surgeon General of the United StatesInstructor bullet points:Dr. Satcher is the former Surgeon General, the one who started the National ball rollingFrame suicide as a public health problem, not just a mental health problemNOTE: Because of the high number of slides, licensed instructors may edit out or add a limited number of slides related to statistics, clinical findings, etc. to better address a particular audience, e.g., Native American healthcare providers, substance abuse counselors, and others. However, all quiz-related slides must be taught --- if you have questions about removing what you consider to be unrelated or non-essential slides, please send your final slide set to the Institute for review and approval. All slides added must be sourced to responsible, scientific sources.
2 QPRT Agenda Introductions Scope of the problem Introduction to risk/protective factorsMental illness and suicideSuicide Risk Rating ExerciseLunchAvoiding suicide malpracticeIntroduction/use of the QPRT protocolRole plays and practiceManaging risk over timeReview the day’s workRead though and add comments as you likeEncourage people to jot down questions and save them for Q&AIf lunching in, day can be shorted by 30 minutes – be sure to get some sort of consensusPost-training knowledge exams can best be administered online, as distribution, scoring and reporting results is not possible in anything but a very small group
3 Training goals Describe the scope of the problem Address social policy/impact on practiceRelationship of mental illness and substance abuse to suicideCurrent status of suicide risk assessmentDescribe limitations of the clinical interview and how to improve suicide risk assessment and management decisionsReadHighlight:Patient safety is everyone’s goalExpectations for suicide prevention are risingIf you learn this stuff, demonstrate competence, and document well, claims of suicide malpractice are avoidable
4 General approach for today… Address clinical core competencies to reduce medical errors and help ensure patient safetyEmphasis is knowledge gain and skill acquisition verses interesting statisticsTeach a tested suicide risk assessment documentation protocolAddress strategies for suicide risk reduction in clinical practiceIf you are teaching inpatient or residential staff you will be focusing on risk stratification decisions as they are reflected in monitoring and observation decisions. Much of this material is the QPRT Suicide Risk Management Inventory user’s manual, Hospital Version. You may create slides from the manual if you so choose. JACHO and other slides are available from the Institute.
5 From the Surgeon General “Suicide is our most preventable form of death.”Optional - too many clinicians do not believe this…. David Satcher, MD, National Strategy..Optional: Challenge commonly held clinical myth that, “If they really want to kill themselves, you can’t stop them.”Open discussion to adjust attitudes and correct myths about suicide.
6 Why now? National movement has begun… National Strategy for Suicide PreventionInstitute of Medicine report (Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative)Public health is marketing “suicide is preventable”Public expectations that suicide is a preventable form of death are risingSelf-explanatory – Sources for original reports can be Googled…Basically – the world is changing and clinicians must ready themselves for greater expectations.
7 Why us?Clinical providers and their employers are charged with doing a better job (Goal 6).Families are being taught suicide is preventable, so “Why did my brother die after I brought him to your hospital, mental health center or substance abuse treatment program?”Lawsuits against us are on the rise (?)Goal 6 is from the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, 2001 – quoted in the next slide.It is actually quite difficult to determine rate and frequency of suicide malpractice lawsuits since insurance companies do not release this data…. But an inside informant from one of the major companies in the US – personal communication, 2006 – said that they (the insurance company) was settling a increasing number of claims..
8 1. Who is qualified to conduct a suicide risk assessment? Goal 6 from the National Strategy: “Implement training for recognition of at-risk behavior and delivery of effective treatment”1. Who is qualified to conduct a suicide risk assessment?2. What are these qualifications?3. When is the risk assessment done? How often?4. Where are staff trained in recognition of at-risk behavior?5. How is this risk assessment documented?From the national strategyAsk the questions of the audience, since these are being explored in developing patient safety strategiesYou will find these questions create a lot of confusion… which is good.
9 JCAHO and Suicide 2007 National Patient Safety Goals # 15 The organization identifies patients at risk for suicide.(M) C 1: The risk assessment includes identification of specific factors and features that may increase or decrease risk for suicide.(M) C 2. The patient’s immediate safety needs and most appropriate setting for treatment are addressed.(M) C 3. The organization provides information such as a crisis hotline to individuals and their family members for crisis situations.Evidence of social policy changes and why now – multiple Joint Commission papers are available on suicide and patient safety –Read these and make sure everyone “gets it”For JCAHO approved hospitals, suicide is now a “never event” meaning, it should never happen.
10 How big is the problem? Global Violence-Related Deaths 1 million people die by suicide10-20 million attemptLeading cause of death in 1/3 of all countries54% of all violence-related deathsGlobal rates are climbing, esp. menMore die by suicide each year than from all armed conflicts around the worldSource: World Health Organization 2009 –Global snap shot – These figures are from the WHO – and the Institute of Medicine. Check their websites if asked for citations, as the figures change from time to time. A new violence prevention initiative is underway and among all forms of violent death (wars, homicides, terrorism, etc.) suicide accounts for 54% of the total….
11 Scope of the problem USA Range: ideations, attempts, deaths36,909 completed suicides in US (2009)Attempts: 922,725Estimated 25 attempts to one completionRates vary widely by race, gender, geography, ethnicity, but all deaths have commonalitiesSource: AAS –These numbers change and are updated annually by Dr. John McIntosh…. Numbers matters, but these are real lives lost…Note: trends are not established except on the basis of 10-year horizons…Tell audience that for most recent statistics, and for their personal state, visit
12 Big picture adult numbers Think, plan, attempt, die10 million adults think about suicide each year1.2 million plan a method (gun, MVA, etc)750,000 attempt (minimum count).Approximately 30,000 dieSuicide is 11th cause of death overall- 3rd for young people (rate has almost tripled since 1950s – unexpected upturn- first for young people in some statessource: National Co morbidity study, CDC and NIMHThese numbers are from Crosby, et. al. 2001, CDC studyThis was a random health-risk telephone interview of adult Americans over age 18.Suicide questions asked:1. Have you had serious thoughts of suicide in the past 12 months (two or more weeks of ideation?)Did you make a plan about how you would kill yourself?A new suicide ideation rates by states is now available from CDCINSTRUCTOR NOTE: Do not get bogged down in too many stats or your audience will nod off.Did you actually attempt suicide one or more times?The figures are prorated from the wide and valid sample: 10 million think about suicide, 1.2 million plan an attempt, and 750,000 report an attemptMajor point for this slide (I often asked the audience to name the most common method of suicide people plan to use). They are usually wrong (drugs, cutting, gun, etc.) and note that the study found the most common method planned was a motor vehicle accident.Then I ask WHY? Answers: to avoid stigma, to collect insurance, to make it easier on survivors. Then I report the highlights from the San Diego Suicide Study, which found that roughly ½ of all single car crashes not involving another passenger or driver (based on psychological autopsy) are probable suicides…. Thus, the true suicide rate is probably much higher than report.Survey’s of medical examiners and coroners have found a tendency to under report suicide where proof positive, e.g., a suicide note, is unavailable, often to protect family and friends.Note that the National Violent Death Surviellence System is likely to impact reported figures.
13 American Numbers (averaged over past 10 years) 35,000 + die each yearRate: per 100,000/Year90+ per day (1 commercial jet every other day)One person every minutesOf the 35,000+ deaths4 X male completions to female3 X females to male attemptsSuicide is no respecter of age, race, religion, social or economic status; its an equal opportunity mode of death.Rates per year vary, using 35K+ is a good way capture the “glimpse” they needRun through the figuresAdd whatever you like that would interest your audience, but don’t tarry of figures; people generally hate statisticsYou are free to add a slide of your own choosing here for a specific audience, but it must be sourced to a reliable government or non-profit agency, or be a personal slide of a single death by suicide – stories work better than stats
14 States with highest rates for past decade (not ordered) The following states have completed suicide rates above 15/100,000Nevada - New Mexico – Montana – Wyoming – Colorado – Alaska – IdahoWhat do these states have in common?Source: AAS – these ranks change frequentlyThese are averaged findings over several years.Wherever you teaching, know the most current statistics for that state (available atDiscussion questions to audience (next two slides): Why are some states high, some low? How might explain the differences?Note the availability of mental health services, per capita funding for mental health, differential attitudes toward help-seeking, etc.
15 States with the lowest rates for the past decade The following states (and DC) have completed suicide rates below 9/100,000Rhode Island - California - Connecticut - District of Columbia - New Jersey – Massachusetts - New YorkWhat do these states have in common?These numbers don’t change much, although state rankings do because a few more deaths can change the ranking… don’t fuss about it.Among interesting researchable questions:Does access to competent mental health services reduce suicide rates?Would access to web-delivered mental health services in rural areas reduce rates?If remote tribal reservations had access to services and broadband, what might we expect?
16 Would access to care save lives? Over 90% of all people who die by suicide are suffering from a major psychiatric illness or substance abuse disorder, or both.More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.Effective, accessible, competent care could save thousands of lives.Compare states with low rates to states with high rates and their per capita funding for mental health and the whether services can be gotten: Source: NIMH web pages and, specifically, Barraclough, B., Bunch, J., Nelson, B., & Sainsbury, P. (1974). A hundred cases of suicide: Clinical aspects. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 125, doi: /bjp
17 Intention and Suicide“There are ways of killing yourself without killing yourself.”Tony Manero, Saturday Night Fever,on the “suicide” of his friend.ILTB = Intentional life threatening behaviorThis slide is about what has been called “sub-intentional suicide” or “intentional life-threatening behavior.”After his suicidal friend falls from a NY city bridge, John Travolta says, “There are ways of killing yourself without killing yourself.”Ask for audience participation here and hope to elicit some of the following:- Older people stopping their life-saving medications- High speed driver under the influence with alcohol on board- Russian roulette- Drug addicts overdosing on known lethal substances, e.g., powerful heroin- Texting while driving under the influence?I often ask if people if they have seen Dances with Wolves (with Kevin C) and ask them to recall the opening scene in which the hero is wounded in the leg during a battle and, rather than lose his leg to a surgeon, rides out in front of the Confederate soldiers with a plan to die of a gunshot wound. This is clearly suicidal behavior as solution to an unacceptable psychological wound, e.g., becoming a one-legged man.
18 Need for surveillance data We really do not know the full scope of suicidal behaviors, self-inflicted injuries, risk-taking activities that lead to premature morbidity and mortality.New! National Violent Death Surveillance System is now in place in 17 states and is collecting critical data on 50,000 violent deaths per year, including suicide.We do know where those identified end up…. In our care and we must do the best we can to keep them safe.The new NVDSS is proving most helpful in getting a handle on the size of the suicide problem.In 2010, advocates are pushing for federal funding to install this system in all states – doing so would greatly increase our knowledge about suicide, and likely lead to greater efforts to prevent it.
19 Suicide Attempt“Any potentially self-injurious action, with a nonfatal outcome, for which there is evidence, either explicit or implicit, that the individual intended to kill himself or herself.”From Carol, Berman, Maris, et. Al., Journal of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 1996Note that this definition is not perfect, and that defining this behavior has been a challenge to the field for many years, and remains so today. Another group is working on a new definition, Lanny Berman, Mort Silverman and others, as regards the VA hospitals need for a competent surveillance system
20 Lethality of Suicide Attempts Suicide attempts vary in lethality. Death can be an impossible result of some action, or almost a certainty.Smith et. al., The Menninger Foundation, scales from 1 to 10 (good inter rater reliability). Examples:0.0 Death is an impossible result of “suicidal behavior,” e.g., light scratches to the skin Wounds that do not require suturing. Swallowing paper clips, coins, 10 or fewer aspirins or clearly ineffective acts which are shown to others.This slide is used to describe levels of lethality in suicide attempts. I read through it with some care, and explain that clear definitions of suicidal behaviors are key to clear clinical communications about relative risk.I stress the importance of describing the behavior in detail to reduce the risk of calling every self-inflicted injury, a “suicide gesture.”Note: In the June 2010 issue of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice vol. 4 no 3., Heilbron et. al. call for the discontinued use of the term gesture in their article “The Problematic Label of Suicide Gesture: Alternatives for Clinical Research and Practice.” Basically, the term has no good operational definition and leads to confusion and poor clinical communication about assessed risk…. Encourage your audience to stop using it.The inter-rater reliability for this scale is quite good.The entire scale is available in a number of places, e.g., Bruce Bongar’s books. We use it here to make a point, not to recommend it for clinical practice.
21 Lethality of Attempt Scale 3.5 Death is improbable so long as first aid is administered by victim or other agent. No effort to hide attempt. Rescue is likely.5.0 Death is a probability directly or indirectly. Severe cutting with sizable blood loss. Hanging efforts with chance of discovery high. Vague drug overdose.7.0 Death is the probable outcome unless there is immediate and vigorous first aid or medical attention. Large doses drugs with fifth of whisky and suicide note. Hanging attempt, with patient found cyanotic.10.0 Death almost certain. Use of shotgun. Drowning self at midnight in a lake. Survival is accidental.ReadThe reason a rating of lethality is needed is that too often clinicians communicate about suicide attempts as if one attempt is like any other… thus, the severity of the attempt-behavior is not fully communicated and levels of monitoring may be less than needed to assure safety.
22 Suicide Attempts Most don’t die in their attempt Youth: attempts per 1 completionElder: 4 attempts per 1 completionAverage: 25 attempts per 1 completion5 million Americans have attempted (est.)Reporting problem- under reporting- unknown (don’t ask, don’t tell)Source: and AMA…This slide pretty much speaks for itself.Note: a prior suicide attempt remains the most powerful predictor of later death by suicide.Too often, clinicians a) don’t ask about prior attempts, and b) don’t drill down for the details to determine the lethality of the attempt.I note the ratios of attempts to completion regarding the elderly, as this every attempt in this group has a high intention to die, and if the person does not die it is not because they didn’t want to, but because their method failed.
23 More homicides or suicides per year in the US? Suicide and HomicideMore homicides or suicides per year in the US?Is there any overlap between homicide and suicide?You should know the answers to these by heart
24 Facts you Need to KnowIf a man calls, take him seriously, he may have a gun in his hand..Boys, teenaged boys, young men 18-25Highest tally of total death: men in middle yearsOld white males are the highest risk group- 79% use a firearm (lethal planners)They know how to do it and plan carefullyThey avoid rescue“If a woman calls about a man, take her even more seriously.”Please cover the high rates for men and boys; 6-1 male to female in the early years, 4-1 male to female over the life spanFocus on highest risk group and the role of careful planning. Impulsive males tend to die young, so when older males become depressed and suicidal they represent a huge risk to themselves.A story here is helpful… I tell the one about the 70+ veteran who was taken to an ER with an interrupted overdose on Nyquil. After being re-hydrated, he was sent home with the following comment: “Sir, you can’t drink enough Nyquil to kill yourself.” Upon arrival in his home he pushed an ice pick through his heart. That worked. But tell you own story if you have one.Point: older males, and males in general, do not make idle suicide threats and are most likely to tell someone close them – especially a woman (clinical practice lore).
25 Cold Sober SuicideWhere alcohol and other drugs on board contribute to greatly to suicide risk in younger people, among men over 65 only 9% had a BAC greater than .8Source: National Violent Death Surveillance SystemThis is an interesting recent finding re. late life suicide. We tend to associate alcohol abuse and suicide, especially in younger age cohorts, and assume this is true in late life. Apparently not. More research is needed in this area….
26 Facts you need to know…Suicide risk rises with age for white males, not for men of colorResponsibility for one or more children is a powerful protective factor against suicide in women (Sweden)Contact with a healthcare provider does not confer protection…. and neither does recent psychiatric hospitalization.Most suicides occur with weeks to months of last contact AND risk rises after discharge!The Swedish study compared # of live births with suicide completions; the more children a woman had the lower her risk for suicide (a perfect correlation).You should be familiar with the “recent healthcare contact” literature. Point? Are these missed opportunities? Probably, as suicide ideation is infrequently queried for and is not the current standard of practice among PCPs.
27 References on Primary Care and Suicide Andersen, S.M., and Harthorn, B.H. (1989). The recognition, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders by primary care physicians. Medical Care, 27:Coombs, D.W, et al. (1992). Presuicide attempt communications between parasuicides and consulted caregivers. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 22:Hirschfeld, R., et al. (1997). The national depressive and manic depressive association consensus statement on the under treatment of depression. Journal of the American Medical Association, 277(4):Miller, M.C., Paulsen, R.H. (1999). Suicide assessment in primary care settings. In Jacobs, D.G. (ed.). The Harvard Medical School Guide to Suicide Assessment and Intervention. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Orleans, C.T. (1985). How primary care physicians treat psychiatric disorders: a national survey of family practitioners. American Journal of Psychiatry, 142(1):Rand, E.H., Badger, L.W., and Coggins, D.R. (1988). Toward a resolution of contradictions. Utility of feedback from the GHQ. General Hospital Psychiatry, 10:Moscicki, E.K. (1999). Epidemiology of suicide. In Jacobs, D.G. (ed.). The Harvard Medical School Guide to Suicide Assessment and Intervention. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Gliatto, M. F. and Rai, A. K. (1999). Evaluation and treatment of patients with suicidal ideation. American Family Physician 59:Katon, W., and Schulberg, H.C., (1992). Epidemiology of depression in primary care. General Hospital Psychiatry. 14:Kaplan, M.S., Adamek, M.E., and A. Calderon. (1999). Managing Depressed and Suicidal Geriatric Patients: Differences Among Primary Care Physicians. The Gerontologist: 39(4):Uncapher, H., Arean, P.A. (2000). Physicians are less willing to treat suicidal ideation in older patients. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 48:This slide contains references on how primary care physicians deal, or don’t deal, with suicidal patients in terms of detection of risk, assessment of risk, and management and treatment of suicidal patients.Just show them the slide, and say, “These studies are only a few of those published in this area.”The question goes back to goal six of the NSPS – Who is trained, ready, and willing to diagnose and treat suicidal people?NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: If you are teaching Primary Care Providers you will need another slide set – get them from the Institute – they are designed just for physicians and PAs
28 Suicide Prevention is Violence Prevention DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SUICIDE AND HOMICIDE* DV victims make more suicide attempts (20 to 26%).* Violent families contribute to youth suicide.* Violent people have a history of self-destructive behavior (30%).* Double suicides are often motivated by the couples fear of separation and the fantasy that they can remain together in death.* Abusive men who kill their wives and lovers usually do so in response to the woman’s attempt to leave.Overlap of violence to suicide. If you do not have my executive summary of this literature you can find it on the instructor area of the web site.The data here are also from the Washington State Consortium on Domestic violence.From other studies, about 1/3 of the males who kill their wives or lovers, then kill themselves.Point? We could stop some homicides by stopping the suicides planned as part of a murder-suicide dynamic.
29 Intimate Partner Violence Males who threaten suicide in an intimate partner violence situation are at greater risk for murder-suicide.WSDVFR finding: “Abusers were suicidal in 35% of domestic violence fatalities overall (this includes cases where no homicide occurred), and in 31% of the cases in which a homicide was committed.”US AIR FORCE:Suicide rate down 33%,Homicide rate down 52%Serious DV rate down 54%Suicide Prevention IS violence prevention!* This data is from the Washington State DV Consortium + the US Air Force study… - BMJ – Knox, et. al. - if people want more have them for research summaries and a paper, or they can Google the study.
30 Survivors of Suicide6 blood relatives directly affected by each suicide1 of every 62 of us is a survivorThis number does not include colleagues, co-workers, friends, team or school mates and ex spousesOne suicide every 18 minutes = 6 new survivorsSuicide risk is greater in survivors (e.g., 4-fold increase in children when a parent dies by suicide)If roughly 30,000+ Americans die by suicide each year leaving 180,000 blood relative survivors, how many have died by suicide since 9/11, and how many new survivors are there?This is AAS data… Ask the audience to do the math… add up 30,000 each year since 9/11 (3,000 lost), and then multiply by 6 – very powerful figures …This is an easier figure to grasp that the exact number.There is a lot going on just now with building survivor support groups and beginning prevention with this high risk group.New figures are emerging that the total number of persons impacted is closer to 100 – six immediate blood relatives, 16 close relatives, 60 to 100 friends, coworkers and colleagues.More research is needed to determine the various impacts of suicide.
31 GOOD NEWS! A national suicide prevention movement has begun Research, medicine and political will are buildingStigma, funding, and lack of awareness remainLeadership has emerged: NIMH, CDC, National Council for Suicide Prevention, AAS, AFSP, SPRC, SAVE, etc.U.S. Air Force success story is outThe majority of Americans believe we should fund more research and believe many suicides are preventable (SPANUSA research)Point out that since the national strategy was published, good things are beginning to happenRead the list (note that teen rates are dropping now)Research is being funded (including for QPR)New medicine are being tested and suicidal people are likely to be included in future trialsCognitive Behavioral therapy is also being evaluated in random clinical trialsReview highlights of the Air Force study (British Medical Journal/Kerry Knox and company)
32 Suicide Risk and Risk Management What you need to know….NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: These next few slides are designed to challenge clinicians into rethinking what they think they know about suicide….
33 Suicide Risk Assessment Prediction is complex and difficultPrognosis vs. predictionChallenge of a low probability eventBehavior is threshold sensitiveBehavior is context sensitiveBehavior relationship sensitiveSummation of risk factors not helpfulScreening tools can get you in trouble(prediction is best done in reverse)This slide will take a few minutes to discuss. It is here to frame in the complexity of predicting suicide, especially on an individual basis.Research has shown individual prediction is not possible based upon a summed risk factor approach.Prognosis is a probability statement not a prediction. Clinically, we work to enhance prognosisSuicide is a low probability event, but the world is filled with dangerous low probability events: volcanoes, plane crashes, nuclear power plant melt downs. The point is that risk management is about reducing risks, and this is something we all do every day.Buckle up before driving, taking an aspirin a day, etc. etc.Suicidal behavior is “threshold sensitive” because we are less in control of our behavior and impulses when we are “hungry, angry, lonely ortired.” Therapists can help reduce suicide risk by helping suicidal people with “relapse prevention” techniques.I used “relationship sensitive” to highlight that a) most suicides are dyadic in nature – a hetero or homosexual relationship is in conflict – and that b) about 1/6th of all suicides occur in a therapeutic relationship… If this relationship is in trouble, so is the suicidal person. You may expand on this as you see fit.Summation of risk factors is not helpful in predicting suicide. The example I use is the VA hospital system, where almost all patients meet criteria for elevated risk (male, psychiatric disorder, familiar with firearms, alcohol abuse, etc. etc.).If you use screening tools and patients report “positive” e.g., endorse suicidal ideation, you must follow up with a timely and comprehensive suicide risk assessment interview, or your are terribly exposed to suicide malpractice if the patient dies by suicide.
34 ENVIRONMENTAL RISK FACTORS Attempts CompletionsSeasonal Variations Unknown Jan-Feb, March PeakWeekly Unknown High MidweekGeography High on both SameWar Unknown InverseUnemployment:Chronic Unknown No AssociationSudden Direct Direct* Source: Harvard School of Public Health, 1998OPTIONAL SLIDE – If you need time, cut this one as it does not add much to risk assessment, but is interesting. The inverse relationship re. war is from (original citation) Suicide and War: a case study and theoretical appraisal, authored by Pat O’Malley in the British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 15, No 4, in October This article provided an analysis of this relationship down through decades of war in multiple countries in a test of an earlier theory by Durkheim that in times of war people bind together against a common enemy and have fewer reasons to kill themselves. Things could be quite different now with our more recent wars since there is – in my opinion – less integrated pro-war feeling in the country (America) and the “connectedness” issue may be moot….
35 SUICIDE CRISIS EPISODE Risk ImminentCrisis PeaksCrisis BeginsRISK LEVELCrisis DiminishesHazard EncounteredNote that suicide crises tend to be short lived. Either the person survives the crisis and returns to a “normal baseline” or he or she dies.Point? Quick, positive action should save lives. Just as in a cardiac crisis.Note: This slide was developed by QPR Institute, but is made available without copyright protection for others to use.StableStableYearsDays Hours DaysYearsPlus or minus three weeks
36 When these three are present-the risk of violence is high. THE LETHAL TRIADUPSET PERSON* Reduce or remove any of these risk factors quickly, and the risk of suicide drops dramatically. This slide was developed by QPR Institute, but is made available without copyright protection for others to use.FIREARMALCOHOLWhen these three are present-the risk of violence is high.
37 Dr. Tom Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory of Suicide Two major components associated with suicide and serious attemptsThe desire to die andthe capacity for self harmTwo elements within the desire to diePerceived burdensomenessA sense of thwarted or low belongingnessThese concepts and next few slides have emerged in recent years and are generating a lot research… See books by Tom Joiner – “Why People Die by Suicide” Harvard University Press, Dr. Joiner has provided the graphic slide for our use by personal permission.
38 Serious Attempt or Death by Suicide Sketch of the TheoryThose WhoDesire SuicideThose Who Are Capable of SuicideNote that this graphic helps define the large population of people who develop suicidal desire and ideations, but that of these, only a much smaller number are actually capable of suicide attempts. Current research is focusing on further testing this theory.Serious Attempt or Death by Suicide
39 Acquired Capacity for Suicide Suicidal behavior is not just about the desire to dieIt requires the capacity to inflict self injuryRead and move quickly
40 The Acquired Capability to Enact Lethal Self-Injury This capacity is acquired over timeAccrues with repeated and escalating experiences involving pain and provocation, such asPast suicidal behavior, but not only that…Repeated injuriesRepeated witnessing of pain, violence, or injury (e.g., physicians, EMS, ED nurses, law enforcement personnel, and combat soldiers)Any repeated exposure to pain and provocation.Determining capacity to enact lethal self-injury is critical to suicide risk assessment, so make sure people understand what this term means.
41 The Acquired Capability to Enact Lethal Self-Injury According to Joiner, with repeated exposure, one habituates – the “taboo” and prohibited quality of suicidal behavior diminishes, and so may the fear and pain associated with self-harmRead this… and ask folks to follow work in this area.For example, has this patient been exposed to trauma, when, how much, for how long, etc. etc. These dimensions of a) not belonging, b) feeling a burden on others, and having c) developed a capacity for self-injury have great significance in the assessment of immediate risk for a suicide attempt.
42 The Many Paths to Suicide Cause of DeathFundamental (distal) Risk FactorsAcute (proximal) Risk Factors: triggers/last strawBiologicalCrisis in RelationPoisonGenetic LoadSexGLTBLoss of FreedomGunRaceAgePersonal/PsychologicalIncreasing Hopelessness Contemplationof Suicideas SolutionHangingFired/ ExpelledValuesReligionBeliefsDrugs orAlcoholChild AbuseLoss of ParentCulture Shock/ShiftWALL OF RESISTANCEIllnessAutocideThis slide took years to develop and I cannot do it justice with a few bullet points. This slide was developed by QPR Institute, but is made available without copyright protection for students in this course.Reframe these talking points in life of Dr. Joiner’s theoryFocus on risk as well as protective factors in your coverage.GLTB literature for youth shows sexual orientation by itself is not a risk factor, what is a risk for this group is the social, psychological environment and the use of drugs and alcohol to combat stress, anxiety, depression that may develop (see Maddy Gould’s 10-year review article on youth suicide risk for citations).Differentiate between fundamental or distal risk factorsNote: as crisis worsens, communications of suicidal planning increasesWall of Resistance is one protective factor listModel for SuicideEnvironmentalUrbanvs.RuralGeo-graphyMajor LossJumpingSeason of year?All “Causes” are real.Hopelessness is the common pathway.Break the chain anywhere = prevention.?
43 Counselor or therapist Medication Compliance Support of significant Wall of Resistance to SuicideCounselor or therapistDuty to othersOthers?Good healthMedication ComplianceFearJob Security orJob SkillsResponsibilityfor childrenSupport of significantother(s)Difficult Accessto meansA sense ofHOPEPositiveSelf-esteemReligiousProhibitionCalmEnvironmentAA or NASponsorPet(s)Sobriety is the foundation for safety, as everything rests on a non-intoxicated state of mind.Directly enhancing connectedness and reducing burdensomeness are implied in many of these “bricks in the wall”Read through these and add your own stuff as you see find.Literature supports most, but not all, of these concepts.Do not get into a lengthy discussion of safety agreements or no-suicide contracts, as this is covered in the QPRT language.This slide was developed by QPR Institute, but is made available to students in this course without copyright protection.BestFriend(s)SafetyAgreementTreatmentAvailability-- Sobriety --Protective Factors and Buffers Against Suicide
44 Nature of the suicide Psychic suffering (Psychache) Hopelessness Unbearable mental anguishCognitive constrictionGrossly impaired problem solving abilityFeeling a burden to othersThwarted belongingnessAcquired capacity for self-injury“Psychache” is from Schneidman, Hopelessness from Aarron Beck’s work, and the last three – again- from Tom Joiner – the most popular theorist right now…Let me know if you are not familiar with this content well enough to highlight it and talk briefly about it.Schneidman’s book “Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind” by Oxford Press is as good as any to source this, but many of his books cover the subject. He was, by the way, the Founder of the American Association of Suicidology and just died in 2009.
45 BASIC CONCEPTS ABOUT SUICIDE Suicide is always multi-determined.Suicide prevention must involve multiple approaches.Most suicidal people do not want to die.Suicidal people want to find a way to live.Ambivalence exists until the moment of death.The final decision rests with the individual.Reduce risk factors and you reduce risk.Enhance protective factors and you reduce risk.This one should be clear.I typically tell the story of those who have jumped to almost certain death from the Golden Gate Bridge and did not die, and how all but one every jumped again… … see my lecture or see Wikipedia for an excellent review about the bridge and bridge stories.
47 The Relationship of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse to Suicide… This is your segue slide into the foundation lecture on mental illness, substance abuse and suicide. Both MI and SA should get equal play in your emphasis and remarks.You can note that the relationship of mental illnesses to suicide is largely a study in Western, first world countries, and that other countries, for example, China, do not see things the way we do in a medical model approach…
48 Preventing suicide is largely about identifying and treating mood disorders, alcoholism and co-occurring disordersWHO aims to target:- Mood disorders- Schizophrenia- AlcoholismWorld evidence for treatment effectiveness suggests suicide rates can be substantially reduced in all these categories… if we can find them before they dieSource:In a world view, the vast majority of suicides can be attributed to MDD, Bi-polar, booze and drugs…. Finding and treating these problems in the World Health Organizations primary focus … personality disorders are not targeted in large part because there are few or no known effective treatments for them
49 Is Suicide Primarily: “Mental Health Territory?” Lifetime Suicide risk for Schizophrenic, Affective and Addiction Disorders:Method: review of 83 mortality studies:Schizophrenia…………4%Affective Disorders……6%Addiction Disorders…...7%Inskip HM: Br J Psych 1998Notes: Schizophrenia often has co-occurring depression/substance abuseAddictions take more lives than mood disorders (as best we can estimate)Note: Databases for these lifetime risk estimates vary widely, are often calculated differently by different researchers and some data sets are county specific. These figures are widely quoted now, but are challenged by other researchers with different data sets and selection rules.To get an idea of about the controversy, see The Lifetime Risk of Suicide in Schizophrenia A Reexamination by Brian A. Palmer, MD, MS, MPH; V. Shane Pankratz, PhD; John Michael Bostwick, MDArch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62: , in which their figures are 5.6% lifetime risk for schizophrenia.Also, see Am J Psychiatry 157: , December 2000 Reviews and OverviewsAffective Disorders and Suicide Risk: A ReexaminationJohn Michael Bostwick, M.D., and V. Shane Pankratz, Ph.D.These folks found different lifetime risks associated with a number of variables, including hospitalized with and without suicidality, etc. etc.Point to students: It’s hard to get good data on the risk of psychiatric illness and death by suicide and, the research continues…
50 Epidemiology: Interesting but not clinically useful… Suicide rates vary across cultures, racial groups, age groups, time and by geography.Major risk factors: Mental disorders, hopelessness, impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies, history of trauma or abuse, major physical illnesses, previous suicide attempt, family history of suicide, etc. (see NSSP for complete lists of risk and protective factors)What you need to know: 90-95% of all completed suicides have an Axis I disorder…BUT – most people with these illnesses DO NOT die by suicide.This is a read slide… emphasis last line, as this is a quiz itemSource for this 90-95% is from Kay Redfield Jamison, Night Falls Fast, and Barraclough, B., Bunch, J., Nelson, B., & Sainsbury, P. (1974). A hundred cases of suicide: Clinical aspects. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 125, doi: /bjp
51 General Neurobiology of Suicide Reduced serotonin function in suicide, especially in suicides of high lethality or with considerable planningDepletion of essential neurotransmitters (including dopamine and serotonin) may be the common clinical pathway for suicidal thinking, feeling and behaviorsGenetic studies inconclusive to dateFamilial patterns of suicide suggest biological factors may influence risk.This is from a lecture by Dr. Coyle, delivered at Harvard in 97. There have been no major breakthroughs sinceNot much has changed.At least one quiz item comes from this slide, so be sure your audience “gets it” that depleted neurotransmitters are the likely culprit in many suicides.From Joseph Coyle, MD,Harvard Medical School, 1997
52 Specific neurobiological changes in severe suicidal depression Loss of gray matterImpaired prefrontal cortical response to serotonin releaseDopamine deficitSerotonin hypofunction in the PFC correlates to higher suicidal intent and planning and lethality of suicide attemptRead – but note that this research is always iffy, since there is not a one-to-one relationship between neurotransmitters and suicide – far from it. Much work needs to be done.* One thing we do know is the compliance with treatment is key to feeling better and recovery, and that non-compliance is a huge risk factor.
53 MDD AND SUICIDE Lifetime risk: 2- 6% (lifetime risk) 98 % of completers are seriously depressedMost die while off medication.Adherence to meds is essential to safety.For severe, agitated and suicidal depressions, electroconvulsive therapy may be the best choice.Family/patient education: MMD is a potentially fatal illness and death is a possible result of not following medical advise.Benzodiazepines are often underutilized (more later)Note: earlier studies said 15% of depressed folks died by suicide, but these were based on hospital studies of patient so sick they were inpatients. This whole area is thoroughly reviewed now in a number of areas, including the new book “Evidence-Based Suicide Prevention” --
54 Pharmacotherapy for depression PET scan depicts a depressed patient’s brain prior to treatment, after successful treatment , scan reveals greatly increased activity in the prefrontal cortexOptional
55 Warning, do not use the brain on the left to make a life or death decision…. Please make clear that the relationship of serotonin to depression is far from clear, and it is not a matter of adding a quart to bring fluid levels back to normal. Recent research shows a very complex relationship of neurotransmitters and mood and, more to the point, we have no evidence that the SSRIs are effective in treating suicidal depression --- since suicidal people have been excluded from almost all clinical trials.
56 A note on antidepressants TCAs deadly in overdoseSSRI’s not deadly in overdoseLot’s of TCAs prescriptions = more suicidesLot’s of SSRIs prescriptions = fewer suicides(EU, Australia, Scandinavia, USA)Sources:Grunebaum, et al, J. Clin. Psychiatry, 2004Gibbons, et al, Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2005Gibbons, et al, Am J. Psychiatry, 2006These are large geographical studies of counties, provinces, countries, etc. They basically look at prescription rates and suicide rates --- SSRIs are safer in overdose.
57 BIPOLAR DISORDER & SUICIDE #1 cause of death, 1 to 2% per year.30 studies 9 to 46% x = 19%.AttemptsMajor Depressive Disorder = 20%Bipolar Disorder = 25%-50%General Population = 1%Highest risk windowsEarly in illnessIn denial phaseDuring mixed statesWhile experiencing depressive maniaK. R. Jamison, 1997John Hopkins UniversityThis content has not changed recently.A frequent question is why does Lithium work best for those who won’t take it. Basically, what we know clinically is that folks early in the illness, and still in denial about their illness, tend to respond well to Li once you can get them to take it.Cite “Night Falls Fast” by Kay Redfield Jamison, as a good source for this data, as well as perhaps the best resource for this area….
58 1st line intervention for suicidal bi-polar patients Lithium appears to decrease aggression and impulsivityPsychotherapy and mood stabilizers prevent suicide better than mood stabilizers alone.Lithium has pronounced anti-suicide effect (600 fold impact)Lithium works best for those who won’t take it; when they do take it, therapeutic impact is significantRead – Again from JamisonTEST QUESTION
59 SUICIDE AND SCHIZOPHRENIA - Ten to 15% complete suicide (best estimated ofLifetime risk: 5%). Leading cause of death in patients under 35.- Negative symptoms associated with increased risk.- 20 to 40% make a suicide attempt.- Finland National Study (1997) - 7% of all suicides met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia (N=92). Of these 92, 64 were also depressed.- Suicides occur during active phases of the illnessRead… note that depression, again, seems to be the major co-occurring disorder that raises suicide risk – Finnish study.NOTE: Seems that the more we look at co-morbidity, it always that killer clinical depression that accounts for so much of variance in risk factors for suicide…M.T. Tsuang, MD,Harvard Medical School, 1998
60 Suicide and Schizophrenia Inadequate pharmacotherapy contributes to higher suicide rates for schizophrenics.Major risk factors: young age, early stage of illness, substance abuse present, college education, multiple episodes of psychosis, living alone, history of previous attempt.Improving on medications is the most dangerous time.Suicides occur after discharge and in the first year of follow-up from index illness.* Nothing to note here.
61 A note on Clozapine Most effective for negative symptoms Best for Rx resistant, has antidepressant and mood stabilizing effectClozapine reduced suicide events by 25% compared to olanzapineClozapine 2 yr NNT of 13 to prevent 1 attemptSource: Meltzer et. al. 2003/Health study research NEJM,1989.Optional slide – you may skip this one or delete it. There is growing evidence for Clozapine having an anti-suicide effect… NNT means number needed to treat to prevent a suicide event, e.g., attempt or completion.
62 Or is Suicide also: Addictions Territory? Alcohol strongest predictor of completed suicide over years after attempt, OR= 5.18…vs. demog or psych disorders ( Beck J Stud Alc 1989)40-60% of completed suicides across USA/Europe are alcohol/drug affected (state variable). Editorial: Dying for a Drink: Brit Med J. 2001Higher suicide rates (+8%) in 18 vs. 21yo legal drinking age states for those ages (Birckmayer J: Am J Pub Health 1999)Note: OR = odds ratio - in general alcohol in the patient or its availability in a society increases suicide riskNOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: Many of the following slides were contributed by psychiatrist Rick Ries, MD, the QPR Institute’s Medical Director. Rick is a world class expert in addictions, mental illness and suicide. Rick is a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
63 Alcohol Abuse and Suicide Major risk factors: male, long-term drinker, co- morbid psychiatric disorder.Intoxication impairs judgment and increases impulsivity and aggressivenessCo-morbidity increases riskHighest risk group: MDD and alcoholism.Alcoholism erodes protective factors: loss of job, health, home, money, family & friendsAlcohol myopia: inability to access the consequences of one’s actions (the stupid effect)Sources: NIMH, Dying for a Drink, BMJ Oct 2001Test item imbedded here: co-occurring depression and alcohol addition – Am. J. Psychiatry, summer 1998…. This finding is repeated ad nausea.Compared with the general population, individuals treated for alcohol abuse or dependence are at about 10 times greater risk for suicide; people who inject drugs are at about 14 times greater risk for suicide (Wilcox, et al., 2004). Source: Wilcox, H. C., Conner, K. R.., & Caine, E. D. (2004). Association of alcohol and drug use disorders and completed suicide: an empirical review of cohort studies. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 76, Supplement 1, S11-S19 doi: /j.drugalcdep
64 Lifetime Suicide Thoughts/Attempts ASI data, TRI database-04 N=60,952This one explains itself.Basically, draw a line through the graphs and you find an average of roughly 20 ideators and 14% attempters.Do substance abuse treatment patients actually receive treatment that match their needs when it comes to suicide risk?If the lack of training in the detection, assessment and management of suicide risk in mental health is less than perfect, imagine what it must be like in substance abuse treatment field. For a breakthrough document attempting to change this situation, please refer interested students to: Treatment Improvement Protocol 42.. Authored by Waddell et. al. in the Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, Volume 3, Issue 3 & 4 November 2008 , pagesOf note, the QPRT method you are teaching is mentioned as one example of a “best practice” in the assessment of suicide risk in TIP 42.
65 Skip the booze and junk Optional slide No, these are blobs of warm Swiss cheese.Tell your children, “Do not date a boy with a brain in this condition.”
67 Methamphetamine Users (n= 1,016) LIFETIME SUICIDE ATTEMPTS and BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS ASI ItemOverallMalesFemalesTest Statistic*Attempted Suicide (%)27%13%28%35.42**Violent behavior problems (%)43%40%46%3.29***Assault Charges (mean number)0.290.460.154.46**Weapons charges (mean number)0.130.210.074.09***Mantel-Haenszel chi-square was used to test differences in proportions by gender, df=1; Student’s two-group t-test (two-sided) was used to test differences between males and females in continuous dependent variables reflecting the number of charges, df=1013.**p < ***0.1 < p <0.05Because meth is such a huge problem, just highlight the number of attempted suicides in the population – nothing the 27% (in red) overall suicide attempt rate.Zweben, et al., 2004
69 Substance Induced Depression: Severity/Dangerousness Henriksson, et al (1993)- 43% of completed suicides had alcohol dependence. 48% of these were also depressed. 42% had a personality disorder.Elliot, et al (1996)- patients with medically severe suicide attempts had a statistically higher prevalence or substance-induced mood disorder.Pages K et al (1997)- Higher degrees of Sub + Dep related to higher severity suicide ratingsOptional slide: The combination of depression and drugs alcohol is more deadly, even if it may be shorter in duration.NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: This slide can be a challenge to teach – but the main point is that some substance induce severe agitated and acute depressions which can lead to highly lethal suicide attempts.
70 Transient acute depression Intense, short-lived depression is prevalent among treatment-seeking people who abuse cocaine, methamphetamines, and alcohol. Does this depression increase suicide risk? Brown et al., 1995; Cornelius, Salloum, Day, Thase, & Mann, 1996; Husband et al., 1996).Optional slide, but clinically important. Depression is the – perhaps – major risk factor for suicide as noted just about everywhere.Sources:Brown SA, Inaba RK, Gillin JC, Schuckit MA, Stewart MA, Irwin MR. Alcoholism and affective disorder: Clinical course of depressive symptoms. American Journal of Psychiatry. (1995); 152: 45–52.Cornelius JR, Salloum IM, Day NL, Thase ME, Mann JJ. Patterns of suicidality and alcohol use in alcoholics with major depression. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research. (1996); 20: 1451–1455.Husband SD, Marlowe DB, Lamb RJ, Iguchi MY, Bux DA, Kirby KC. et al. Decline in self-reported dysphoria after treatment entry in inner-city cocaine addicts. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology. (1996); 64: 221–224.
71 Traumatic brain injury Blast is the most common wounding etiology our returning war fighters50-60% of those exposed to blasts sustain a brain injury (Walter Reed Army Medical Center)Depression, PTSD and alcohol use commonSimpson & Tate post-injury TBI community sample study (2002):- 23% had significant suicidal ideation- 18% made a suicide attemptLife time risk of suicide 3-4 times higherThis new slide address special needs of our returning war fighters – and elevated risk for suicide following TBI, PTSD, and co-morbid, often coping strategy, alcohol use.Source: J Nerv Ment Dis Oct;193(10):680-5.Clinical features of suicide attempts after traumatic brain injury.Simpson G, Tate R.
72 PTSD and SuicideResearch: Positive correlation between PTSD and suicideSome studies suggest that suicide risk is higher due to the symptoms of PTSD; others claim risk is higher due related psychiatric conditionsIntrusive memories, high arousal & low avoidance increase risk of suicide ?Source on next slideNOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: If you have extra slides on PTSD, use them. We will update annually.
73 PTSD Or, is it the co-occurring depression and/or alcohol use? Risk factors: male, alcohol abuse, older, family history of suicide, homeless, single, with firearmHighest risk: multiple combat wounds and/or hospitalized for injury + guilt over combat behaviorSource: The Relationship Between PTSD and Suicide, William Hudenko, Ph.D. VA – National Center for PTSDMuch research is underway – stay tuned and clinicians need to stay up with this literature
74 FIVE ACUTE SUICIDE RISK FACTORS Severe psychic anxiety/turmoilIncessant ruminationGlobal insomniaDelusions of gloom and doomRecent alcohol use (with or without alcoholism)Jan Fawcett, M.D., 1997 (replicated in 2003 with 76 inpatient deaths)This is an important slide on those symptoms most associated with inpatient suicide and immediate risk. These symptoms were reported in the medical records by observers on the units… they have implications for outpatient management as well…. And place emphasis on alcohol use here, as it appears highly distressed patients unable to sleep, stop their ruminations, etc. etc., use alcohol as a method in decrease distress associated with brain dysfunction…Source: Fawcett, J “Inpatient Management of Suicide.” Paper presented at the Harvard Medical School conference on Suicide: Critical Issues in Assessment and Management.
75 DISEASE MANAGEMENT MODEL FOR SUICIDAL PATIENTS PSYCHIATRIC COMORBID TRANSIENT ILLNESS PSYCHOLOGICAL STATESSchizophrenia AgitationDepressive Disorder PerturbationBipolar Disorder Psychic PainPanic Disorder HopelessnessSubstance Abuse Disorder Dopamine DeficitPersonality Disorder Serotonin DeficitCo-morbid Physical Illness Alcohol MyopiaAnother long-considered slide that spells out the relationship of diagnosis to symptoms – all of which we know how to treat.This slide was developed by staff at the QPR institute is a copyrighted originalWALL OF RESISTANCESUICIDAL BEHAVIORS
76 Common Chemical Pathways for Suicidal Acts? Alcohol in the bloodstreamLow serotonin levelsImpaired dopamine functionQuiz item – stress it
77 What can we do? Do we know how to sober people up? Do we know how to treat anxiety?Do we know how reduce psychic pain?Are there effective treatments for agitation?Do we know what to do about serotonin deficits?CBT for depressive hopelessness?DBT for Axis II consumersEngage audience with these questions.E.G. 10 sessions of CBT with adolescent attempters reduced future attempts by 50%Marsha Linehan’s work has been replicated several times and is in NREPP.BOTTOM LINE: Treatment works – provided people use things known to work!
78 Good news! Treatment works Cognitive therapy reduces youth suicide attempts by 50% (Brown, et al, Aug 3, 2005 JAMA).Youth Suicide Rates Lower in Counties with High SSRI Use (Gibbons, et al, Am. J. Psychiatry 2006)Several therapies are being adapted specifically for suicidal patients.. MI, CBT, IMPACT and Problem Solving TherapyLimitations: 18-month follow up and correlational data only
79 Good news The Gotland Study: PTD A primary care physician training program to increase early recognition and treatment of depressive disorder; suicide rates went down in the follow up years…“This finding strongly suggests that the significant decrease in the suicide rate after the PTD programme is a direct result of the robust decrease in depressive suicides of the area served by trained GPs.”Source: Rihmer Z, Rutz W, Pihlgren H., J Affect Disord DecPTD – Prevention and Treatment of DepressionSmall Island off Sweden – post graduate training program for primary care doctors in how to recognize, diagnose and treat mood disorders- Quote is from the article abstract in J of Affective DisordersMuch cited article showing the relationship of untreated mood disorders and how treatment could reduce suicide rates.
80 Depression/suicide screening in the Henry Ford Health Systems Zero is perfect number of patient suicidesPerfect Depression Care initiativeRelies on a “shift in thinking, rather than on costly resources or a surge in clinical staff”Six steps: set goal, engage patients, improve quality, monitor, report, etc. (read)If you build it, they will come…
81 Results? 75% reduction in suicide : baseline 87/100K suicides4 years in: baseline dropped to 22/100KIn the past two years, or the last 10 consecutive quarters, the department has not seen one patient suicide.U-Tube:Source, Ed Coffey, MD, CEO and Joint Com.Instructor! Do watch this U-Tube video – and show it in your program if you have internet access… makes a powerful point that suicide is preventable…
82 Dr. Ed Coffey…"There's nothing unique about the strategies. Everyone would say they're doing the same thing. We assess the risk and do everything we can do to lessen that risk.” Everyone gets training and must be competent (100%) on exams.Note – nothing unusual was done except to identify risk, assess it, monitor it and require staff excellence…
83 More good news! Addiction treatment works Cohort suicide attemptsyear prior year afterAdults> 25 yo (n=3,524) 23% %18-24 yo (N=651) % %Adolescents (n=236) % %Karageorge: National Treatment Improvement Evaluation study 2001This is a very positive finding….NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: Substance abuse counselors actually more time in face-to-face therapy than to most mental health professionals, at least in the public sector. And, they work to remove one of the most dangerous risk factors for suicide (booze and drugs).
84 Take home messages….Most dangerous diagnosis: alcoholism and major depressive disorder… Am. Journal of Psychiatry, 1998.3 Common clinical pathways: serotonin deficit, dopamine deficit, and alcohol in blood streamCo-occurring disorders killThere is no safety without sobriety…Treatment works!Treatment works in many casesWe know much more about the clinical treatment of suicidal behavior than we did 10 years agoWhat we don’t know greatly outweighs what we do knowMUCH RESEARCH IS NEEDED!
86 Risk Rating Exercise Compare yourself with other judges Rate each of the following on a scale of 1 to(1= no risk; 7 = high risk)Stelmachers & ShermanThis exercise is designed on Stelmachers and Sherman’s work with rating suicide risk from clinical scenarios. The subjects in his study were mental health professionals (like your audience). “Use of Case Vignettes in Suicide Risk Assessment, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Vol 20(1), Spring 1990.Read the cases out loud and get the audience involved.Tell them they must work alone (no consultation) and make a severity rating.One goal is to raise their anxiety so that they do not do this kind of work without consultation.
87 CASE #1A 21 year old male, foreign graduate student was brought to Crisis Intervention Center by friends and a pastor. After informing his friends that he planned to jump off a bridge, he actually went there and had to be physically restrained from jumping. He had written several suicide notes, one willing his computer to a friend, another to a different friend stating that the patient would be dead by the time his note was opened.* This case takes two slides, read them both.
88 CASE # 1 ContinuedThe patient described himself as being quite depressed, with low energy, poor sleep and appetite, and persistent suicidal ideation. The precipitant seems to have been his girlfriend’s breaking off their engagement four days ago. He has a psychiatric history of several years, but refuses to reveal any details. He exhibits some grandiosity, paranoid mentation, anger, agitation and irritability. He appears somewhat manic but not depressed. He denies any acute plan to commit suicide and is threatening to sue the CID for having been detained.When you have finished reading the slide, give them only a couple of minutes to write down a risk rating number 1 to 7.Then invite someone to say their rating score out loud.Then ask others, or ask the audience. People are initially reluctant, but warm up quickly.This case scares everyone, which is the negative anchor point for future ratings.When you have exhausted their response, click to the next slide and show them how their colleagues rated the case.
89 Risk Rating Rating: High Risk Mean 6.21 SD. 0.86 Points to make… 1. The ratings is high. Fear for the patient’s safety is justified because…2. I then click the slide back and have them sing out the risk factors.3. I have them acknowledge their “felt fear” for this persons safety.4. I note that fear drives clinicians together, thus the standard deviation is extremely low.Point? There should be little disagreement among clinicians when they know and share a comprehensive evaluation of risk, including all the ones highlighted in this case.
90 Case # 2A 16-year-old Native America female presented as a self-referral following an overdose of 12 aspirin tables. Patient reports that she could not tolerate the rumors at school that she and another girl are sharing the same boyfriend.The patient denies being suicidal at this time (“I won’t do it again; I learned my lesson.”)She reports that she has always had difficulty expressing her feelings. In the interview she is quiet, guarded and initially reluctant to talk.Diagnostic impression: adjustment disorderREADDiscuss, ask questions. Get the audience engaged. What should come out is:They don’t have enough data to make a ratingIf they are culturally competent, they will recognize this girl is not giving them muchWhat little is learned is determined, in part, on the quality of relationship –Ask, is Adjustment Disorder justified. The answer should be no, since the interviewer did not determine:a) history of prior attemptsb) R/O of depressive disorder, substance abuse, family history, etc. etc.Lesson: You can’t understand risk you haven’t explored thoroughly
91 Risk Rating Rating: Low Risk Mean: 2.25 SD: 1.29 Note: Many will disagree with the low rating (it may not be justified because an incomplete evaluation was done)Note the large standard deviation – which means where there is little data there is a lot of disagreementNote: the Dx of Adjustment Disorder will not lead to a carefully considered risk management plan.
92 Case # 3A 39 year old white male was referred from the Emergency room. Patient was in the process of overdosing when he was called by a friend, who arranged for the ambulance to bring him to the CIC. The patient took 10 or 15 aspirin tablets and 72 over the counter sleeping pills. He had written a long suicide note bequeathing belongings, expressing guilt about not doing well on his job and feeling hopeless about a “hereditary thinking disorder.”Read this slide and the next as one case
93 Case # 3 continuedHe feels that no one can help him and suffers from low self esteem. Says, “I’m a misfit.”Three nights ago he had also made a suicide attempt with Navane and aspirin but woke up by himself in the morning. He lives by himself. There was no obvious immediate precipitant, but the patient’s mother had died six months ago. He is currently in therapy and has a psychiatrist.Read both slides
94 Risk Rating Rating: High Risk Mean: 6.58 SD: 0.61 This one is a slam dunk. I use it to reinforce their growing sense of competence to recognize high risk when all the pieces are there.Note the very low SD --- and discuss
95 Case # 4A 38-year-old man with a chronic and persistent, severe infection in his right hand is evaluated to be moderately depressed. Prognosis for his infection is not good and he has been struggling with feelings of hopelessness regarding his hand.There is no family history for suicide, mental illness, mood disorders or alcoholism. This man is neither alcoholic nor drug dependent, has a high IQ and has never been in trouble emotionally. He is cooperative during the interview, but distant. His family remains greatly concerned.* This is trap question to capture the concept that while 90% of those who die by suicide are mentally ill, 10% are not.This fellow falls in the 10% who do not have an Axis I disorderI remind them that context matters (per the threshold slide)Then I say, “You are permitted to ask this man one question. What is that question?”What he does for a living sets the context in which is ruined hand becomes the basis for an egoistic suicide.If someone calls out, is he a pianist, I give them a reward (a free book or something)If no one calls it out, I ask, “What does this man do for a living?” The first person to get it right gets the rewardThen I show them the next slide.
96 What you need to know….This troubled man has been training to be a concert pianist for the past 25 years.What we want here is MAJOR INSIGHT into what some people will not live life on terms other than their own, and these can be narrow and narcissistic.
97 Case # 5A 30-year-old married female is discovered to be having an affair by her husband (a minister). After her husband’s learning of her indiscretions, she requests an emergency evaluation for treatment. She states she has not been depressed, but does feel panicky. She states her husband has a history of losing his temper and she is afraid of him. However, she seems resourceful, intelligent and articulate. There are no children in the family. She does not have a history of prior suicide attempts, but reports she is now thinking about it. She reports she and her husband have continued having sexual relations throughout the period of her affair.This slide is, again, to highlight the importance of context in assessing suicide risk.After they have completed a rating, I ask them to set the next appointment. Outpatient? Immediate hospitalization? Often a discussion of potential domestic violence will come up.When they have complete this discussion, I click to the next page (the rest of the story) and let them read it and weep.Point out: a) how context drives risk, b) the need for anticipation of risk increasing, and b) this is not a true case as Dr. Quinnett was home ill with the flu one day and forced to watch the Soap Operas and made this up…..
98 What you can’t know, but should always plan for…. Two days before her scheduled counseling appointment, her lover tests positive for HIV and calls her husband to inform him of his exposure….Context changes and context matters…
99 Things to Keep in MindThe absence of SI does not equal no suicide riskThe denial of SI does not equal no suicide riskOnce suicide been considered a solution, the problem it would solve can suddenly become much biggerAlways determine the psychological, social, emotional, and environmental context and crisis in which a suicidal person is trapped, or feels about to be trapped.Read
100 Things to keep in mind….Wall, Platt and Hall, 1999 study of 100 successive suicide attempters:- 83 had been seen within one month by healthcare providers (PCP and mental health), yet only 28 had be asked about suicide.You can’t assess risk you don’t know is there, and your referral source PROBABLY hasn’t asked!Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t work….* This is a widely cited study, but I don’t spend much time on it, except to point out the missed opportunities.
101 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 10: My schedule is already full next week if they need extra sessions.These 10 top reasons may or may not play to your audience, so you can use them as an elective. There are a few points however:We don’t ask about suicide because if frightens usBecause we were never trainedIf we don’t ask before the half hour mark in an interview, we may be dealing with a crisis in the last 10 minutesNot asking could be costing lives.
102 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 10: My schedule is already full next week if they need extra sessions.Reason # 9: If they were really suicidal, they would say so.* False belief – the way it used to be years ago.
103 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 10: My schedule is already full next week if they need extra sessions.Reason # 9: If they were really suicidal, they would say so.Reason# 8: There’s no room on the form.I’ve reviewed hundreds of mental health intake documents…. Very little or no space is provided for suicide risk assessment
104 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 10: My schedule is already full next week if they need extra sessions.Reason # 9: If they were really suicidal, they would say so.Reason# 8: There’s no room on the form.Reason # 7: I’m not sure I like this patient very much.* This is actually a clinical matter of some concern as it involves what Maltzberger calls “Malevolent Countertertransference” which means, there is something about this patient I detest. Clinical response? Find another therapist, quickly.
105 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 10: My schedule is already full next week if they need extra sessions.Reason # 9: If they were really suicidal, they would say so.Reason# 8: There’s no room on the form.Reason # 7: I’m not sure I like this patient very much.Reason # 6: The managed care company doesn’t want to know.This is only partially true, as Pacific Behavioral Health is actually screening for suicide risk in all their insured.
106 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 5: Denial in my line of work is underrated, what I don’t know can’t hurt me.Joke – until you realize that while it may not hurt you, you patient could die – and denial is a poor excuse if your on the witness stand defending yourself.
107 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 5: Denial in my line of work is underrated, what I don’t know can’t hurt me.Reason # 4: It’s already 11:45 and I have plans for lunch.Quiz item! We recommend getting to the S question by no later than the ½ hour mark of an intake interview.NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: This quiz item only pertains to the use of the QPRT, not to the quiz items from the general pool on knowledge about suicide content.
108 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 5: Denial in my line of work is underrated, what I don’t know can’t hurt me.Reason # 4: It’s already 11:45 and I have plans for lunch.Reason # 3: I probably couldn’t get them into a hospital anyway.Point: Too many clinicians are not willing or able to fight, confront or otherwise challenge admission criteria, hospital-based screeners or managed care company gatekeepers…. Thus, at-risk patients who ought to be in hospitals never get admitted… since managed care companies don’t pay death benefits and hospitals can’t be sued for people they never admitted… well, you know the rest.
109 The 10 Top Reasons never to ask your patient if they’re suicidal Reason # 5: Denial in my line of work is underrated, what I don’t know can’t hurt me.Reason # 4: It’s already 11:45 and I have plans for lunch.Reason # 3: I probably couldn’t get them into a hospital anyway.Reason # 2: Nothing I learned in graduate school says I have to.Point? Ask for a show of hands of those who completed a suicide risk management or risk assessment course.
110 And the # 1 reason not ask our patient if he or she is suicidal? MY GOD THEY MIGHT SAY YES!Gets to our worse fears!NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: Suicidal patients frighten clinicians – I have an essay on this, now included in the online QPRT course you have taken. Print it if you like.
112 Avoiding Suicide Malpractice Highlights only – full 2-hour course now available online atTaught by lawyer and psychologistYou may wish to show my video lecture here if you need a break or do not feel comfortable with this subject area.
113 Common Suicide Malpractice Errors Type 1: Failure to detect and assess suicide riskType 2: Failure to manage and treat properly (sub standard care)Type 3: Postvention failure – failure to address survivor needsSpeaks for itself. These classifications originated with the QPR Institute“
114 Who will sue you?An uninformed family is a potentially litigious one -especially if not comforted after the suicide.”Source: QPR Institute, 2001This is where the lawsuit will come from.
115 Best Defense?1. A well-trained, skilled clinician (with documented specific training)2. Sensitive and caring staff with client and family (they don’t sue you if they like you)3. Everyone took reasonable and competent steps in providing assessment and careStandard stuff
116 Worst Defense? 1. Untrained, unskilled and unprofessional staff 2. Perceived as uncaring by client and family3. Evidence of sloppy workStandard stuff
117 Avoid suicide malpractice every time! Get appropriate training and keep records of sameRoutinely query about suicide riskDocument your risk assessmentCarry out a “best practices” treatment planTeam up and chartDocument why you did what you did, and why you didn’t do something even your mother would think you should do.Standard stuff
118 Skip Simpson, Attorney at Law "If the docs took the course, followed the course in their practice, documented their actions, and still had a suicide, they would not need insurance if I reviewed the file. I have never sued a mental health practitioner with a documented file.”Skip Simpson, Attorney at Law(Jedi Knight of Suicide Malpractice – 88%)Our pal Skip (ex US Air Force navigator on a B-52), teaches psychiatric residents at the University of Texas School of Medicine in how to avoid suicide malpractice, and serves as on the QPR Institute’s Advisory Board. He is the co-leader in our new online course called, “Avoiding Suicide Malpractice.”
119 “If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.” T. Gutheil, 1980 *** Twin pillars of defense:Consultation and documentationTEST ITEM!
120 True storyMy son died by suicide in 1993 and in the process of suing the hospital and the doctor, the last professional to see my son for therapy was a Ph.D. in Psychology. When this person was deposed, he reported that he never asked him if he was suicidal (Todd was two days post discharge from a suicide attempt) and said that 'he was a bright young adult, if he was suicidal, he would have told me.' Two days later, Todd hung himself. I won the case out of court without going to a jury!Sherry Bryant, LCSW, CADC, LMFTThis story is from a colleague and a QPR instructor.
122 CURRENT THINKING ON SUICIDE AND RISK The greater the number of losses, the greater the risk.Personally humiliating events.No good evidence for sexual orientation as an independent risk factor for suicide.Treatment prevents suicide.Eve Morscicki, NIMH, 1997Move quickly through these background slides.
123 Suicide Risk Assessment: What you Need to Know… Screens for suicide produce large numbers of false positives (will not die by suicide)Positive screens require assessmentsNo useful psychological tests or methods to predict suicide attempt (NIMH)Summation of risk factor approach too nonspecific and weak in predicting individual suicideOptional
124 Prediction vs. Standard of Care You are not required to predict the future, but you are required to try (assess risk).Note: 40% of clinical decisions at major academic medical centers are not based on research evidence (Gray, Evidence Based Psychiatry, APA 2004)Optional
125 CURRENT THINKING ON SUICIDE AND RISK The greater the number of losses, the greater the risk.No good evidence for sexual orientation as an independent risk factor for suicide.Personally humiliating events may trigger suicidal behavior in non-mentally ill peopleSingle greatest risk: untreated mental illnessEve Morscicki, NIMH, 1997Optional
126 CURRENT THINKING ON SUICIDE AND RISK Necessary condition + trigger(s) push suicide threshold.Distal vs. Proximal & Trait vs. State variables.Halt (hungry, angry, lonely, tired).Absence of a psychiatric diagnosis does not equal mental health.Co-morbidity is the single greatest risk.Straightforward – and only if you have time – - Co-morbidity – e.g., Depression and alcoholism, American Journal of Psychiatry, fall 1998…. Etc. See full reference listKey references:Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 50. HHS Publication No. (SMA) Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2009.Brown SA, Inaba RK, Gillin JC, Schuckit MA, Stewart MA, Irwin MR. Alcoholism and affective disorder: Clinical course of depressive symptoms. American Journal of Psychiatry. (1995); 152: 45–52.Cherpitel CJ, Borges GL, Wilcox HC. Acute alcohol use and suicidal behavior: A review of the literature. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2004); 28: 18S–28S.Conner KR, Britton PC, Sworts LM, Joiner TE Jr. Suicide attempts among individuals with opiate dependence: The critical role of belonging. Addictive Behaviors. (2007); 32: 1395–1404.Cornelius JR, Salloum IM, Day NL, Thase ME, Mann JJ. Patterns of suicidality and alcohol use in alcoholics with major depression. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research. (1996); 20: 1451–1455.
127 CURRENT STATUS OF SUICIDE RISK ASSESSMENT National Survey: Almost all clinicians rely on clinical interview (Jobes, Eyman & Yufi, 1995).No known test will predict suicide.Screening inventories useful but…. Beck Hopelessness scale the best life long predictorRisk detection is job one.75% of suicides see a physician within a week to a month before their death (NIMH: opportunities missed)Optional
128 CURRENT STATUS OF SUICIDE RISK ASSESSMENT Current screening methods produce large numbers of false positives.Summation of risk factor approach: -not clinically useful -too nonspecific to be helpful -inefficient and weak in predicting individualsuicide67% - 91% of completers made no previous attempt (Coe, 1963 & Dorpat, 1960).Lot’s of risk goes unrecognized…Give this one a light once over…POINT IS THIS: Estimated 50% of suicidal patients seen in out patient settings are never detected by clinical providers.
129 UNRECOGNIZED RISK60% of suicide completers had no contact with a mental health professional and no prior suicide attempt.60% to 90% of all suicide completers had communicated explicit intent to a significant other during the period prior to death.75% to 80% had a non-psychiatrist physician contact within six months.93% of completers had an Axis I diagnosis.One-sixth of all completers are in current treatment with a mental health providerClark and Fawcett 1991YOU CAN HAMMER THIS POINT HOME:“Too many clinicians don’t know what they don’t know.”
130 What do we know? Get some training…. Surveys show most clinicians use an interview format, not psychometricsThere is no consensus practice standard or tool (Simon & Shuman, CNS, 2006)Review the APA’s Practice Guidelines for comprehensive review (Jacobs, et. al, 2004)Get some training….Optional, but tight summary of the field
131 Raising the bar beyond the current standard of practice You are required to perform an adequate assessment, not to predict suicide.The standard of care is legally defined, not ideal (statutory language varies state to state).Standards of care are minimum, not maximumMedical custom vs. reasonable & prudentWE CAN DO BETTER…Optional
132 Worst clinician in the world! - Suicide is not spoken here, so no query was ever made- Assessment appears skimpy, e.g., “Denies SI, HI and CFS.”- Skimpy assessment + reliance on no-suicide contract (“He promised me he wouldn’t.”)- Assessment present but written in Sanskrit (inscrutable handwriting)- Assessment is not communicated to othersSI = suicidal ideation – HI = homicidal ideation – CFS = contracts for safety. All evidence of poor practice – See next slide showing root cause analyses for hospital suicides.
133 JCAHO Reported 501 Inpatient Suicides From 1995 To 2004 And 56 In 2005 JCAHO and SuicideJCAHO Reported 501 Inpatient Suicides From 1995 To 2004 And 56 In 2005Note failures in communications training, assessment and safety – see next slide to reinforce.
134 Where Inpatient Suicide Occurs Most common sentinel event reported to the JCAHOSince 1996* (14%)Method:71% Hanging14% JumpingFactors87% Deficiencies in physical environment83% Inadequate assessment60% Insufficient staff orientation or trainingWhere Inpatient Suicide OccursSource – note failures in assessment, training, and environment.83% OF THE SUICIDE DEATHS WERE PRECEEDED BY AN “INADQUATE ASSESSMENT”60% BY INSUFFICIENT STAFF TRAINING*Sentinal Event reporting begain in Source: Reducing the Risk of Suicide. JCAHO, Joint Commission Resources, Inc. 2005
135 Best clinician in the world! Treats all threats as genuine (until proven otherwise)Gets all the data and the PINSUnderstands the CONTEXTAssesses clinical status thoroughlyDocuments all actions taken and whyDocuments all actions NOT taken and whyCommunicates the risk to othersPINS are Pre Incident Indicators – from Gavin DeBecker’s work on predicting violence – we are coining a term – Pre Suicide Attempt Indicators… PSAI .. Coming to a theater near you soon… deBecker, Gift of Fear 1997.
136 Limitations of the clinical interview in suicide risk assessment Update and new researchYou may wish to spend a few minutes on these slides – the points made here are based on our latest research, not yet published.
137 Current practice standards Clinicians rely on their clinical interviewing skills to understand the patient’s realityThe patient’s reality is often distorted by CNS dysfunction“Facts” elicited from distressed patients may be interesting and useful to plan treatment, but they may not be an accurate reflection of dynamic realityOptional
138 Self-disclosure and suicide risk: Why not “tell all?” Fear that full disclosure will lead to voluntary or even involuntary hospitalizationFear that full disclosure will prevent discharge from hospitalFear that full disclosure will lead to arrest and possibly incarcerationFear that full disclosure of suicidal desire and intent will lead to unwanted rescueOptional – Source: Quinnett and Baker, unpublished study, 2007 – personal communication – next three slidesNOTE: These observations are included in the online course.
139 Why not “tell all?”Fear that revelation of access to a firearm or drugs may implicate personal or third party illegal ownership of sameFear that the interviewer is neither benevolent nor trustworthyFear that revelation of a suicide plan may expose a double suicide, suicide pact or planned murder-suicideFear that disclosure of suicidal desire, intent, rehearsal or past suicide attempts will lead to shame and censure or job denial or lossMore fears and why suicidal patients deny suicidal ideation
140 Better solution Do not rely on a single reporter Do not rely on a single data sourceDo rely on multiple observersInterview everyone possible (conduct a psychological autopsy in reverse)What you don’t bother to learn now, you have to learn later (in court)It’s what they do, not what they sayTHINK LIKE A SOCIAL WORKER NOT LIKE A SURGEON!TALK TO THE FAMILY!
141 End Module Please read your QPRT User’s Manual/Handouts carefully…. Always do better on the competency quiz that the lawyer who is suing you…..New slide
142 This is not an MRI of the lawyer about to sue you… Optional
145 QPRT recognition1998 J.J. Negley Associates, Inc. Presidents Award for Avoiding Suicide Malpractice. $15,000 NCBHCJoint Commission 3 patient safety publicationsDevereux Foundation adoption (1999)APA Patient Safety Task Force (2002)TIP 42 (2005)Background – optionalYOU SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH THE EVALUTIONS OF QPRT
146 Developed by clinicians for clinicians Brief and user friendly QPRT Benefit SummaryDeveloped by clinicians for cliniciansBrief and user friendlyStandardizes suicide risk data collectionImproves triage decision makingReviewed and contributed to by nationally and internationally known suicidologistsHeavily field tested in outpatient, emergency and hospital settingsOffers adult/older adult, pediatric and hospital versionsSnapshot of developmental history – with original work completed at Spokane Mental Health, Spokane Washington by an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and nurses.
147 Nests well with other risk evaluation methods QPRT Benefit SummaryRoutinely detects the presence of suicidal ideation, feelings, plans and past attemptsNests well with other risk evaluation methodsGeneric and fits into any medical or psychological recordIntegrates risk assessment with risk managementEnhances standard of careIs accepted by patients (89% report satisfaction with interviewer’s skill and comfort)Is accepted by clinicians (94% believe it improves their standard of practice)Reduces exposure to suicide malpracticeUtility and practicality
148 The QPRT interview is not: A substitute for psychiatric diagnosisA treatment planA substitute for a comprehensive mental health examinationStraigtforward
149 Follow along….Please take your sample QPRT or one from your folder and follow along and, if you like, make notes…ASK YOUR PARTICIPANTS TO TAKE OUT A QPRT INVENTORY AND FOLLOW ALONG
150 No relationship, no data Without a “therapeutic alliance” with the suicidal patient little information of real value will be learned from any interview protocol, including this oneThe strength of this alliance determines how well this protocol works to assess suicide risk and intervention resultsSource: Multiple studies cited throughout the about-to-be published book, tentatively titled, “Building a Therapeutic Alliance with the Suicidal Patient.” by APA Books – scheduled for release in 2010…. Edited by Konrad, M and Jobes, D. –As an early reviewer of this much-needed text, we at the QPR Institute wholly support a return to the basic and essential need to reestablish the value of the therapeutic relationship and all that it means to suicidal sufferers.
151 The QPRT interview is:A tactical structured interview protocol designed to obtain critical, dynamic suicide risk and protective factor informationA tool to help determine near-term suicide riskA strategic intervention designed to reduce immediate risk of suicide through empathic inquiry and enhance suicide protective factorsNote , and emphasize, that without a “therapeutic alliance” with the patient, the odds are not good that you will be told the “patient’s narrative” of their inner view and thoughts about suicide.
152 The QPRT interview may not be useful with: Actively psychotic patientsPatients so depressed they can barely speak, or so manic they cannot be engagedIntoxicated patientsDelusional patientsHighly impulsive patients, especially if on drugs and/or alcoholPatients suffering from severe dementia or obvious cognitive impairmentsLIMITATIONS OF THE QPRTRead and take questions
153 Asking the S Question: Samples “You know, when people are as upset as you seem to be, they sometimes wish they were dead. I’m wondering if you’re feeling that way, too?”“You seem very unhappy. Have you had any thoughts of death or suicide?”“Suicidal thoughts are a common symptom of depression; have you had been depressed lately?”“Have you been suicidal or have you been thinking about suicide?”These are probes to detect suicide risk, ideation and to prepare the patient to begin to tell their story about suicide.
154 Sample S Questions “Are you considering ending your life?” “Have you ever wished that you were dead?”“Are you thinking about killing yourself?”“Have you thought about suicide in the past two months?” (Sometimes suicidal people will tell you about how they felt last week, but not today.)Sample questions
155 Wrong way to ask S Question “You’re not thinking of suicide, are you?”…or any variant question which asks for a denial….Ask for other “wrong ways to ask the S question” – there are many….NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: To engage them, and wake up the post-lunch dozers, ask them how they would ask the suicide question to ensure a “No” response to ideation.
156 QPRT SUICIDE RISK MANAGEMENT INVENTORY Patient Name Case Number DateQuestioned the patient about thoughts of death or suicide: Yes NoSuicidal thoughts/feelings present: Yes NoIf no, review and initial statement on following page.If YES, document: WHAT IS WRONG?WHY NOW?WITHWHAT?WHERE AND WHEN?WHEN AND WITH WHAT IN THE PAST?WHO IS INVOLVED?WHY NOT NOW?QHave participants find their sample copy and proceed with you to cover all the points. Briefly describe what they should learn from each stem question, and have them open their QPRT User Manual so that can skim this part with you.
157 WHAT’S WRONG? What You Should Learn: Explanation of the reasons for suicideProblem(s) that suicide would solve, such as being a burden on othersHow this person solves problemsTake them through each reason for question – what they should learn, sample Qs and key pointsKey back to Joiner’s thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness on others.
158 Eliciting the narrative.. There is therapeutic value in telling the story – and we mean the “whole story” behind the ideation or attempt…The clinician must simply say, “Begin wherever you like…”Interrupt the patient’s story only for clarificationSource in support of eliciting the full narrative:Michel, K., Maltzberger, J.T., Jobes, D.A., Leenaars, A., Orbach, I., Young, R., & Valach, L. (2002). Discovering the truth in an attempted suicide. American Journal of Psychotherapy.
159 Sample Questions“Okay John, why don’t you tell me what’s wrong with your life right now?”“Audrey, could you tell me what led up to this? Begin anywhere you like.”“We’ve got some time to talk. I’d very much like to hear your version of what’s wrong right now and this crisis came to be.”Leads to open up the patient’s narrative, and to elicit why suicide “makes sense” to this person.
160 Key Points for What’s Wrong? Most suicidal people need to talk. Others may not be listening, but now you are. Telling their story produces relief.Active listening without interjecting judgments or opinions is essential to encourage full disclosure.Telling one’s story may help restore the person’s ability to think more clearly and cope more successfully.Earlier sources – and very much the basis for the art of healing and psychotherapy… all the way back to the Greeks…
161 Expect Common themes (suicidal desire and intent) Feels hopeless and depressed (clinical depression is the most common cause of suicide)Feels isolated and aloneHas lost job or major relationship or a multiple of lossesFeels overwhelmed, angry and upsetJoiner theory proved….
162 Common themes Feels like a burden on others Financial problems with no escapeFears being humiliated, e.g., arrested for a sex crimeHas serious problems at workMore themes
163 QPRT SUICIDE RISK MANAGEMENT INVENTORY Patient Name Case Number DateQuestioned the patient about thoughts of death or suicide: Yes NoSuicidal thoughts/feelings present: Yes NoIf no, review and initial statement on following page.If YES, document: WHAT IS WRONG?WHY NOW?WITH WHAT?WHERE AND WHEN?WHEN AND WITH WHAT IN THE PAST?WHO IS INVOLVED?WHY NOT NOW?QJust show them the slide again for orientation
164 WHY NOW? What you should learn Recent history of recent or anticipated real or imagined losses or rejections.Trigger event(s) - separation from spouse, loss of home, domestic violence, anticipated loss of job, any changes creating a sense of burdensomeness on others, or that causes isolation from one’s primary group.Onset of sleeplessness, depression, loss of appetite, relapse into drug or alcohol use, anxiety, panic attacks, or other symptoms of acute psychological distress.Read
165 Sample Questions“Robin, what has changed such that you are considering suicide now?”“It sounds as though this relationship has been difficult for a long time. What’s different for you now?”“Joe, it sounds like you’ve been unhappy for months and hadn’t contemplated suicide before. Why are things so unbearable now?”Precipitating event questions – final straws?Note: the final straw triggering the suicide attempt may not have happened, but is anticipated, e.g., a story of humiliation about to appear in the newspapers, or being fired from one’s job.
166 Key Points for Why Now? Something unacceptable is about to happen. Suicide or homicide threats have been made.Ambivalence about living or dying, and both reasons for living and dying may be expressed.Listen for both suicide risk and protective factors.Are suicidal desire and intent present?How is the person’s ability to cope being overwhelmed?Read and discuss
167 WITH WHAT? What You Should Learn: The means of suicide under consideration (if any)Lethality of means being consideredAccessibility to the means selected (this requires a follow up question – where are the means?)Whether more than one method is under considerationPractice or rehearsal with the means selectedExploration of means of suicide and their access and restrictionAccording to Joiner, rehearsal with a means of suicide builds capacity to enact lethal self-injury.
168 Sample Questions“Have you thought about how you would kill yourself? If the person responds with a ‘yes,’ follow up with:- “Can you tell me how you’ve considered ending your life?”- “How would you kill yourself?”- “Do you have a method in mind?”- “Have you practiced with the (means selected)?”Read
169 Redundant Planning? Sample questions: “Have you had any other thoughts of how you might kill yourself?”“If the first method didn’t work what else might you try?”The cautious interviewer explores alternative means that might be under consideration.NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: Redundant planning is very different from more impulsive suicide attempts, and much more likely to be lethal if a planned attempt is made.
170 Sample questions to determine the availability of means “Do you have immediate access to (medications, a gun, a razor blade, etc.)?”“Where is the gun (rope, razor, etc.)?”“Where would you get the medications (gun, rope, razor, etc.)?”Add a clinical story here if you have one… relevant to these matters.
171 Key Points for With What? Rehearsal suggests suicide capability is presentPast self-injury (with any method)Risk increases dramatically with access to meansNever suggest another method or meansMeans selection is often influenced by culture, occupation, social contagion (modeling effect), and availabilityMultiple methods under consideration = greater riskRead
172 WHERE AND WHEN? What You Should Learn: A conditional suicide plan contingent on some unacceptable event, “If she leaves me I will kill myself.” “If they fire me, I die.” “If I’m arrested I will have to kill myself.”Possible location of a suicide attemptPlan for rescue or to avoid rescueDegree and details of lethal planningPossible anniversary phenomenaPotential for murder-suicide or suicide pactRead– add clinical stories if you like, but be brief…
173 Sample Questions“Have thought about where you might try to kill yourself?”“Have you decided when?”“Is there something that might happen that would put your plan in motion?”
174 Key Points for When and Where? Many suicide attempts are impulsive and little or no planning will be evidentGenerally, the more detailed the planning (intent) the greater the riskSpecificity of time and place = greater riskDetermination of “anniversary phenomena” may open discussion of opportunities and a referral for help, e.g., grief counseling for a major lossEfforts to avoid rescue = greater riskResistance to disclosure of a suicide plan may indicate higher riskRead and highlight
175 WHEN AND WITH WHAT IN THE PAST? What You Should LearnPast history of suicidal behaviorsPast history of intense suicidal ideation and/or planningMethod used in any suicide attempt(s)Whether rescue was avoidedTiming and precipitants of past attemptsCareful history taking of prior attempts is critical to understanding current risk -- we cannot stress this too much…
176 WHEN AND WITH WHAT IN THE PAST? Social response to past attempt(s)Treatment, if any, following a suicide attempt or period of severe ideationDegree, if any, of medical injuriesPotential protective factorsComparison of current method under consideration vs. prior method usedYou can see that the response to each lead probe, should lead to several more.
177 Sample questions “When was that? “Pat, you’ve been struggling with a lot of different feelings lately and you’re telling me you’ve been considering suicide. Have you ever had thoughts of suicide in the past?”- If Pat responds “yes,” then ask:“When was that?After learning when a previous episode of suicidality occurred, follow up with:“Did you think about suicide seriously for two or more weeks?”“Did you attempt suicide at that time?”Repeat the inquiry until you have the complete historyThese questions are designed to assess acquired capacity for self-injury.
178 Key Points for When and With What? Comprehensive history taking is strongly recommendedThe more detail elicited the betterSuicide attempts while in treatment = greater risk and suggests extraordinary precautionary safety measures are indicatedHistorical response to a past suicide attempt may provide insights into resolution of the current crisisAttempt to avoid rescue? = greater riskNew method under consideration? = greater riskThis is self explanatory
179 WHO IS INVOLVED? What You Should Learn Role of significant others Names of potentially helpful third partiesNames of potentially harmful third partiesNames of persons on whom the suicidal person feels he or she is a burden (a perceived, not necessarily real burden)Possible presence of a suicide pact or murder-suicide planWho is a burden, who is thwarting the person’s sense of belongingness…. –You will often know this from the patient’s first narrative explanation – provided you took the time to elicit it fully… a la Carl Rogers non-directive interviewing …
180 Sample Questions“Who are the people or the activities that are important to you?”“Who else knows you are in this much pain?”“Who is your main support during times like these?”“Is there anyone who will be hurt if you take you own life?”“If you feel like a burden on others, who are they?”More questions to determine burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness
181 Key PointsMost suicidal crises involve at least two people, such as a couple in conflictSuicide threats made to significant others without producing relief or change may suggest higher riskSocial isolation = greater riskFeeling a burden to significant others = greater riskThreats of violence toward others may be part of a planned suicide, or murder-suicide plan involving a conflicted relationship, students at school, or co-workersRead
182 WHY NOT NOW? What You Should Learn One or more protective factors (reasons for living)Spiritual or religious prohibitions against suicidePersonal or professional responsibilities to others (connectedness)Plans made for dependent others, such as, “My brother will raise my children.”Meaningfulness of life and purpose for livingResidual tasks to be completed before the attempt, such as making out a willSearching for buffers/protective against suicide … and routes to avoid guiltNOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: EMPHASIS TO THE AUDIENCE THE NEED TO SIT AND SPEND TIME WORKING TRHOUGH AND BUILDING UP BUFFERS… THIS IS A MAJOR INTERVENTION IN THE RESTORATION OF MEANING AND PURPOSE TO ONE’S GOING ON LIVING.
183 Sample Questions “Give me some reasons why you may want to live?” “You’ve shared some reasons why you are considering suicide. What are some reasons that you should not kill yourself?”“Can you give me three reasons to go on living?”“Can you tell me about your core values and beliefs?”“Who are you close to? Who matters in your life”“What are your dreams for the future?”Sources for good reading content on these matters: “Building a Therapeutic Alliance With the Suicidal Patient” edited by Jobes and Michel… 2010 or 2011 – includes literature reviews on hope, purpose and meaning in life as buffers against suicide.
184 Key Points Few or no protective factors = greater risk Serious isolation or rejection by others = greater riskThe offer of treatment, rest, hope, relief from suffering is a powerful protective factorMarshalling protective factors lowers riskLow risk does not equal zero riskSummary and Review
185 Persuading the Person to Get Help KEY POINTS:Expressed anger at you may mean greater riskRefusal to accept help = greater riskAn abrupt or angry withdrawal from the interview may mean greater riskUnwillingness to remove the means of suicide = greater riskReassessment of risk may be indicated if help is refusedEmergency intervention, consultation and/or supervisory input should be readily availableRead
186 I agree to continue to see my current provider and/or: Accept a referral to Community Mental Health Accept a referral toI also agree to the following:to remain clean and sober until crisis passes.to follow medical advice, including medication regime (if prescribed)to remove (or see to the removal of) the means of suicide.to not harm or kill self accidentally or on purpose.to call and talk to office, hotline, mental health provider or other responsible person in case of crisis.to accept responsibility for this safety plan.My agreement to safety is:If no answer to 1st question, and rest of protocol covered without raising suspicion of elevated risk
187 Appropriate releases signed (if necessary). Patient/family educated about access to (in)voluntary psychiatric hospitalization and community resources.Patient/family accepts literature on suicide prevention and agrees to return for follow up.Appropriate releases signed (if necessary).Disposition and Signed Agreement or Check Here If Verbal Agreement OnlyI understand that my suicidal thoughts and feelings are the probable result of a current crisis, or of an untreated depressive illness, or of some other medical and/or psychological condition. Understanding this, and that treatment is available, I am willing to accept help. I agree to be safe and will not attempt or complete suicide while my provider and I pursue relief of my symptoms, problems and current distress. I have supplied my provider with names of relatives and/or friends whom he or she may contact about my safety plan.Completed by: DatePatient Signature: DateWitnessed by:READ aloud the disposition statement and be prepared to discuss it. It was reviewed by two mental health lawyers on the development team… you will see it is not a no-suicide contract, but is a statement of informed consent to treatment – although it does request a safety-statement.Since inception and first use in 1996, the QPR Institute is unaware of a single successful action or complaint brought against a clinician or treatment facility using the QPRT Suicide Risk Management Inventory for patient assessment and reassessment. There may have been some, but we are unaware of any such potential negative outcomes.
188 Suicide risk is low to moderate When:- Few risk factors are present and several or many protective factors are present, and the person agrees to:* Not use drugs or alcohol* Seek help or accept a referral* Remove the means of suicide* Commit to a safety planStratification of suicide risk is a difficult challenge and not well researched or even understood.Still, some estimates may need to be made by clinical providers.Based on what we know, the following slides are worth consideration
189 Suicide risk is high When: many risk factors are present and few or no protective factors are present, and the person:- Has been uncooperative- Has said little or nothing about his or her problems- Has been distant, evasive and aloof- Refuses to go along or agree to the referral and safety plan- Refuses to remove the mans of suicideRead - this high risk decision is based on collective and peer reviewed clinical data presented in various scenarios and role-plays
190 Low confidence note…A progress note indicating a low confidence in the assessment means at least a moderate risk rating is warranted and reassessment is indicated in the near term (not more than 24 hours).A second risk assessment opinion may also be indicated. Where confidence in the risk rating is low greater vigilance as well as ongoing or more frequent observation and monitoring is indicated.See earlier reasons why full disclosure may not be forthcoming.This note can be made on the QPRT or in the clinical record….
191 Assessment confidence interval What is low risk = ?What is moderate risk = ?What is high risk = ?How confident are you in the assignment of these levels of risk? What if you’re wrong?New slide – now addressed in the 2nd edition of the QPRT manual/handouts.In the clinician does not wish to use the QPRT itself, any sense of low confidence in their interview data should lead to a consult and second opinion –Stratification of risk decisions have serious clinical monitoring and communication implications for patient care….
192 Low confidence note …The person has been uncooperative and refused to collaborate in the assessmentIs suspected of being deceitful in answering questionsHas or may have psychotic symptoms, especially paranoiaIs or has been recently intoxicatedNew slide – used to make clinical call about confidence interval
193 Low confidence note when the person… Has a history of impulsivityRefuses to sign releases to collect or confirm collateral information, such as medical records from other providers.Is faced with an uncontrollable external event which may trigger a suicide attempt, such as the serving of divorce papers or a warrant to appear in courtAnd????New slide – cautionary note about what risk management strategies will be implemented.Discuss how they (the audience) would manage item 3 above…
194 What else would cause you to have low confidence in your risk rating Discussion….Discussion
195 Persuaded patient to accept help/treatment: Risk low, patient commits to safety plan.Risk moderate, commits to safety & referral plan.Patient not persuaded to accept help/treatment:Risk high, initiate emergency room evaluation/(in)voluntary hospitalization procedure.(NOTE ON CONFIDENCE INTERVAL HERE)Referral. Patient agrees to remain with current provider and/or:Accepts a referral to Community Mental HealthAccepts a referral toPRThis is the section where a handwritten note of “Low Confidence” should be made according to the guidelines in the User’s Manual, adult version.This is an optional ad on for both hard copy and EMR
196 Suicide Risk Management Inventory Risk Management Plan. Patient verbally agrees:to remain clean and sober until crisis passes.to follow medical advice, including medication regime (if prescribed)to remove (or see to the removal of) the means of suicide.to not harm or kill self accidentally or on purpose.to call and talk to office, hotline, mental health provider or other responsibleperson in case of crisis.to accept responsibility for this safety plan.Quote patient's statement of agreement to safety:Patient/family educated about access to (in)voluntary psychiatric hospitalizationand community resources.Patient/family accepts literature on suicide prevention and agrees to return forfollow up.Appropriate releases signed (if necessary).Suicide Risk Management Inventory Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., and Kevin Bratcher, M.S., 1996Completed by: DateWhite - chart copy, Pink - chart copy, Yellow - client/patient copyTClinicians reviewing the risk management plan with the patient may experience resistance to safety actions to be taken by the patient…. If such resistance is encountered, reassessment is indicated…QPRT
197 SEMANTICS ARE IMPORTANT Poor safety agreement language- “I guess I’ll be okay” (vague)- “I’ll call somebody if things get bad.” (vague, lacks specificity. How will anyone know when things “get bad?” What is “bad” in this context? Who is “somebody?”)Read and discussVAGUE IS BAD, SPECIFIC IS GOOD
198 Real people safety statements “If things get this bad again, I’ll call my pastor. Honest, I will.”“I won’t do it. I promise. I wouldn’t put Adam through that. I’ll call you back personally if I need to.”“I can, and do, agree to a safety plan. I don’t want to die. I honor my word.”What’s right or wrong with these – source: Clinical records from patients admitted the outpatient services at Greentree Behavioral Health, a division of Spokane Mental Health, Spokane, Washington, US.
199 KEY POINTS in Safety Agreements Set specific times and expectations for crisis management action steps (work through safety plan checklist)Recommitment to life; not a “no-suicide contract”Clarity of language in a person’s recommitment to life and safety plan helps confirm risk is now lowerHard copy directions, phone numbers, and how-to steps are helpful and key to avoiding claims of negligenceReview
200 USE QUOTATIONSFor example, “I just couldn’t do that [suicide] to my family,” illustrates that, in this case, the family is a strong protective factor.Likewise, the phrase, “I have a five-year-old boy and am pregnant right now,” indicates much lower suicide risk than, say, “I have no children and just had my first abortion.”If the statement is not clear and unequivocal, try to help the person make the statement more clearly. The greater the clarity of this commitment, even over the phone to a stranger, the greater the likelihood the person will follow through with the recommended referral.WRITE IT DOWNWHATEVER THE PERSON SAYS, WRITE IT DOWN. REASON? BECAUSE IF THEY GO ON TO KILL THEMSELVES, YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF READING YOUR CHART TO A JUDGE AND JURY.IF ACCEPTED A VAGUE, HALF-HEARTED COMMITMENT TO SAFETY, IT WILL NOT PLAY WELL IN COURT.BUT IF YOU GOT A CLEAR AND CONVINCING STATEMENT OF SAFETY, THEN THE JURY WILL SYMPATHISE WITH YOU, NOT THE PERSON WHO DIED.
201 Role play practice sessions Allow minutes per role playComplete sample QPRT as part of the practice sessionProcess each experienceAll questions answeredBegin role plays
202 When to use QPRT Managing Risk over Time At admissionAt dischargeAt significant transitions during treatmentchange in risk factors (health, SA, loss, etc.)change in placement/caregiversDocumented in core clinical recordPlease review your manual for windows of elevated risk….This is the minimum expected use of the QPRT –
203 THANK YOU!Contact informationFree book from websiteThe Institute does not provide clinical consultation….Your name as a licensed instructor here…