: Message of the Month

Suicide Prevention

September, 2016

“Suicide, taking your own life, is a tragic reaction to stressful life situations — and all the more tragic because suicide can be prevented. Whether you’re considering suicide or know someone who feels suicidal, learn suicide warning signs and how to reach out for immediate help and professional treatment. You may save a life — your own or someone else’s.”—Mayo Clinic, 2016

Suicide Warning Signs: (Suicide.org, 2016)

  • Appearing depressed or sad most of the time
  • Talking or writing about death or suicide
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Experiencing a change in eating habits
  • Feeling excessive guilt or shame
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Performing poorly at work or school
  • Experience a change in sleeping habits
  • Experience dramatic mood change
  • Feeling strong anger or rage
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Acting impulsively
  • Losing interest in activities
  • Acting recklessly
  • Writing a will
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling trapped

Useful Crisis Communication Techniques:

Silence

  • Promotes speech
  • Encourages continued uninterrupted speech/ventilation

Non Verbal Attending

  • Encourages continued uninterrupted speech/ventilation
  • Shows Interest
  • Head nodding and facial expressions

Restatement

  • Shows you are listening
  • Check for accuracy/clarify semantics
  • Careful of using too frequently

Paraphrasing

  • Communicates interest, understanding, empathy
  • Checks for accuracy
  • Allows the speaker to “hear” their own thoughts

A person who is suicidal needs someone who will be willing to listen to them with acceptance. Be that person!

Kim Buckheister, Director Crisis and Outreach, Association for Individual Development