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Not One More! Stopping the Suicide Epidemic. Suicide is…..

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Presentation on theme: "Not One More! Stopping the Suicide Epidemic. Suicide is….."— Presentation transcript:

1 Not One More! Stopping the Suicide Epidemic

2 Suicide is…..

3 The Enemy Within Play video clip “The Enemy Within” Available from the California Highway Patrol

4 Definition of Suicide “Suicide is a conscious act of self-induced annihilation, best understood …as a needful individual who defines an issue for which the suicide is perceived as the best solution.” Dr. Ed Shneidman, Suicide as Psychache, 1993

5 Suicide Survivors Family members and others who survive following the death of their loved one by suicide: Spouse Significant Others Parents Children Extended family Grandparents Lovers Friends Co-Workers Classmates 6:1

6 Nationwide Statistics 2004 data One suicide every 16 minutes 11th ranking cause of death in the US 811,000 suicide attempts every year 5 million living Americans have attempted suicide Firearms used in 52% of suicides

7 Suicide in Specific Populations

8 Law Enforcement Suicide Compared LE Suicide RateLE LODD RateLE Homicide Rate

9 Law Enforcement and Retirement Retired Comparison GroupRetired LE Retired LE - Medical Disability

10 Write a Name Exercise

11 “It takes only the smallest of changes to shatter an epidemic’s equilibrium.” Malcolm Gladwell in the “Tipping Point”

12 The Tipping Point: Agents of Change The Law of the Few The Stickiness Factor The Power of Context

13 The Law of the Few Connectors Mavens Persuaders

14 The Stickiness Factor Advice that is practical and personal also becomes memorable… Courage is taking the first step Let us help each other live Just do something!

15 The Power of Context Epidemics strongly influenced by their situation Circumstances and conditions Particulars of environments Kitty Genovese Graffiti

16 One Voice Awareness Communication Courage

17 “Suicide is completed in inches not in leaps” Ideation Gesture Attempt Completion

18 Exercise Write down the 3 most important things in your life.

19 Myths? Happens without warning Low risk after mood improvement Once suicidal, always suicidal Don’t mention suicide Only experts can prevent it Runs in the family No note = no suicide

20 Suicide is not preventable Only certain “types” of people become suicidal Don’t talk about suicide or they will “do it.” Antidepressants cause people to be suicidal More Myths..

21 Phil’s Letter to Mom

22 Life’s Most Valuable My mind My family My work ________

23 Loss or change in an important relationship To avoid or end perceived pain Escape intolerable situation Gain attention Manipulate Punish others/Punish self Become a martyr Losschangeimportant perceived intolerable

24 Social Support System Warning signs Separation from family or friends - Geographic, legal, temporary Loss of significant others A loner or newcomer Rejected by peers Feels like people don’t care

25 Why Police Officers Commit Suicide Loss due to death or divorce Marital problems or a bad relationship Terminal illness Guilt over partner’s death Legal Problems Feeling alone Sexual Accusations Disability/Retirement Internal Affairs Investigation Financial Problems Arrest Loss of Employment PTSD. LOSSLOSS

26 Loss of Rational Thinking Lack of sleep Stress or anxiety Substance Abuse Immaturity Psychosis: Command hallucinations Alien control Religious preoccupation

27 Symptoms of Depression Change in sleep Change in appetite Loss of energy, motivation Loss of interest in pleasurable activity Apathy Deterioration of personal appearance Deterioration of job performance Frequent physical complaints Preoccupation with death

28 PTSD Intense arousal after a traumatic event Overwhelms coping mechanisms Leaves the responder feeling helpless and out of control Posttraumatic stress is not prejudiced PTSD invades the mind with almost constant thoughts about the event It is from PTSD that the unseen wounds of an officer begin to manifest. Since we do not see these battle scars, we sometimes try to pretend they do not exist. Trying to pretend doesn’t make the pain go away.

29 It’s Everybody’s Business The student will be able to list the signs & signals of a person who is at risk of suicide. Do Something!

30 Risk is 2-3x higher among alcoholics 15-25% of suicides are completed by alcoholics 50% of those who completed suicide were intoxicated Among suicides of alcoholics, 89% were actively drinking at time of death Suicide and Alcohol

31 Indirect Verbal Clues I can’t go on any longer Nobody needs me anymore I’m tired of life You won’t be seeing me any more I can’t take it any more You’d be better off without me I can’t take the pain

32 Indirect Suicide Indicators Clues.... Clues.... Clues.... Buying a weapon Giving away possessions Changes in social behavior Reckless officer safety/behavior Changes in personality The “practice run” Sudden religious interest/ disinterest Substance abuse relapse More confrontational with subject

33 Direct Verbal Clues I wish I were dead You’d be better off without me I might as well be dead If ___doesn’t happen, I’m going to end it I’m going to commit suicide I’m going to kill myself

34 How Bad Is It? How: Is the plan specific? Do they have the means? Are the means lethal? History: Prior attempts? Any family history? Help: Are they alone? Are they drinking? Lethality lets you know how much help you need and how fast you need it

35 Intervention is Action A Silent Code 3 Request for Help Respond! Do Something!

36 Barricades to Seeking Help Denial Avoidance Anger Fear: Will impact job Command will be contacted Hospitalization Being labeled

37 Do’s of Intervention Remain calm Accept their feelings Focus on central issue Stay close Emphasize temporary nature of problem Explore resources ** Listen ** Listen ** Listen ** Hear what is being said

38 Don’t sound shocked Don’t offer empty promises Don’t try to joke them out of it Don’t debate morality Don’t assume things will improve Don’t leave person alone Don’t keep it a secret Don’ts of Intervention

39 A Good Listener: Copes with strong emotion Is prepared to listen – time Provides for comfort Tolerates repetition Listens carefully Respect others perspective Avoids interrupting WAIT THINK RESPOND

40 The Question Have you been thinking of killing yourself?

41 Important Questions How would you kill yourself? When did you last think about suicide? What is the closest you’ve come? Have you ever attempted suicide? Has anyone in your family attempted/completed suicide? What are the odds that you will kill yourself? What has been keeping you alive so far? What do you think the future holds in store for you?

42 Referrals Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Health Care Plan

43 Adverse Job Action Relationship Difficulties Depression/Trauma Alcohol Abuse Suicidal Thoughts Boxed In! Do Something!

44 Continue C.P.R.: Caring Preserving Life Referrals and Resources Do Something!

45 Suicide Postvention

46 Survivor Reactions High risk groups Parents Spouses/Significant Others “Stigma spillover” Children/Siblings Friends/Coworkers Those who find the body Those who witness the suicide

47 Survivor Reactions “Survivor Syndrome” Shock Numbness Denial of death as a Suicide Religious concerns Prolonged search for “Why??” Fear of personal susceptibility

48 Survivor Reactions Emotional Shame Anger Responsibility Blaming Scapegoating Abandonment Guilt !

49 Survivor Reactions Loneliness Social Isolation* Social stigma Diminished social supports Difficulty trusting others Negative family relations Over protectiveness

50 Play video clip “Suicide Interviews Take 2” stored on Disk #2

51 Suicide Is…

52 The Cost of Suicide Cut off from support Achievements minimized Private shame and guilt No honors or recognition Support network collapses Decreased benefits

53 “Hindering” Survivors Denying the death as a suicide Ignoring or not taking the problem seriously Pressuring them to “get over it” Self-medicating/Taking them drinking Offering negative religious judgments Being judgmental

54 Helping Survivors Let them talk I’m sorry for your loss… How can I help? Is there anyone I can call for you? Since the suicide, what are the biggest challenges for you? Use the loved one’s name.

55 Additional Help: Help the group care about the person, and accept the choice he or she made Refer individuals who are struggling excessively with anger, loss, or guilt Don’t remain the only one helping

56 “Attitudes outweigh facts. Attitudes must change so that statistics can change.” KARL MENNINGER Do Something!

57 Let us all have the courage to take a stand Not One More…


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