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Suicide Prevention: Helping To Preserve Our Future Presented by The New York Association of School Psychologists & The New York State Office of Mental.

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Presentation on theme: "Suicide Prevention: Helping To Preserve Our Future Presented by The New York Association of School Psychologists & The New York State Office of Mental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Suicide Prevention: Helping To Preserve Our Future Presented by The New York Association of School Psychologists & The New York State Office of Mental Health

2 What Do You Hear in these Words? I hurt myself today To see if I still feel I focus on the pain The only thing that's real The needle tears a hole The old familiar sting Try to kill it all away But I remember everything







9 Workshop Outline  SPEAK  Purpose  Statistics  Identify those in need of help  Warning Signs  Suicide Crisis  Risk Factors/Protective Factors  Prevention  How to Help  Campus Help  Community Resources

10 What is SPEAK? OMH & NYASP joined together to create a series of workshops that provide information on ways to recognize signs and symptoms of depression and prevent suicide. This workshop is geared towards the college population; however, much of the information can be beneficial to the public in general.

11 Purpose The purpose of this workshop is to encourage Residential Advisors (RA ’ s), hall directors, faculty members, and other professionals on campus to be mindful of this mental health crisis. Thousands of college aged students have taken their own lives through suicide. We must play a role in suicide prevention in order to preserve our future.

12 Numbers representing lives: College Suicide Rates  According to a major study of suicides on Big Ten college campuses, the rate of completed suicide for college students was 7.5 per 100,000.  It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses per year.  One in 12 college students have made a suicide plan.

13 Numbers representing lives: College Suicide Rates  In 2000, the American College Health Association surveyed 16,000 college students from 28 college campuses. 9.5% of students had seriously contemplated suicide. 1.5% have made a suicide attempt. In the twelve month period prior to the survey, half of the sample reported feeling very sad, one third reported feeling hopeless and 22% reported feeling so depressed as to not be able to function. Of the 16,000 students surveyed, only 6.2% of males and 12.8% of females reported a diagnosis of depression. Therefore, there are a large number of students who are not receiving adequate treatment and/or who remain undiagnosed. Of the students who had seriously considered suicide, 94.8% reported feeling so sad to the point of not functioning at least once in the past year, and 94.4% reported feelings of hopelessness.

14 Recognizing this Population: Do you know them? RA ’ s …  Is it that girl/boy in your math class?  Does he/she live in your hall?  Is it that shy student who doesn ’ t talk to anyone?  Is it that student who is always sleeping? Faculty …  Was it one of the students who failed the last exam you gave?  Is it that student who has been skipping class frequently?  Is it that student who never raises her hand in class?  Is it that student whose behavior has changed dramatically, either better or worse?


16 Warning Signs  How do you remember the warning signs of Suicide?  IS PATH WARM? IIdeation SSubstance Abuse PPurposelessness AAnxiety TTrapped HHopelessness WWithdrawal AAnger RRecklessness MMood Change

17 Warning Signs  Repeated absences from class.  Withdrawing from friends, family, and society  Sudden changes in behavior or personality.  Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person  Feelings of hopelessness  Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge  Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities seemingly without thinking

18 Warning Signs  Feeling trapped, like there is no way out  Increased alcohol or drug use  Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time  Experiencing dramatic mood changes  Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself  Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means

19 Suicide Crisis  Precipitating Event  Intense Affective State in Addition to Depression  Changes in Behavior S peech A ctions D eterioration in functioning

20 Risk Factors  Psychiatric Disorders  Past History of Attempted Suicide  Family Predisposition  Impulsivity  Demographics

21 Risk Factors Environmental Risk Factors  Change in social relationships  Loss of social support  Easy access to lethal means  Local clusters of suicide that have a contagion influence

22 Helping students to become Resilient (Protective Factors)  Connection with one caring individual in their lives.  Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and nonviolent handling or disputes  Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for seeking help  Strong connections to family and community support

23 How to Help  Talk to the student and let them know you care and are concerned.  Try not to be judgmental  Validate their feelings  If the student is stressed, talk them.  Be Flexible with assignments when student is stressed  Do not act shocked and do not panic if they share their suicidal thoughts with you.  Get assistance immediately if they are at high risk to harm themselves.

24 How to Help  If the student is withdrawn, seek them out.  Tell them you are concerned.  Be a friend to the student.  Talk to his or her roommate so they are aware of the situation.  Tell the student ’ s roommate or friends how they can help.  Have resources available for students.

25 How to Help  If they are at high risk, find out if they have a plan. Ask them when, what, where, and how they would do it?  If they have a plan, call emergency contacts.  Use words of encouragement.  Reassure them that as bad as things seem, things can change and help is available.

26 Where to get Help on Campus  RA, hall directors, faculty, etc … make yourself available for student contact.  Know emergency campus extensions. - c ampus counseling facilities - Campus security  Make sure counseling services, community resources, and other mental health information is posted in the dorms and are easy to access.

27 Community Resources  Hotlines 1-800-273-TALK 1-800-SUICIDE 1-888-290-Safe Place  Support groups  Get a list of the local mental health professionals in the community. “ Can we Keep it Together ”

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