A Guidebook about Suicide For People Who Work With Youth

This outline is a work-in-progress.

Your input is appreciated.

Suicide is a complex and sensitive topic. Discussing suicide can overwhelm anyone. Be aware of your own limits, and know that you can ask for help.

  • Immediate help? Call 911.
  • Suicide Prevention Lines
  • 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) (Veterans: Press 1)
  • Crisis Text Line, text HELLO to 741741

Suicide is the end of a life.

An American English concept could be translated into another language, but its meaning is still rooted in the American culture which created it. Reframing suicide prevention from a multicultural perspective requires insight from within other cultures to address specific cultural sensitivities about suicide and death.

A person may be most at risk if they exhibit dangerous behaviors, create or provide a plan of action, or are visibly aggitated. Call 911 (in the USA) or emergency services if you feel a person is at risk.

In case of imminent danger, injury, or action, call 911 (in the USA) or emergency services, or consult a professional psychologist, social worker, or EMT.

Media inquiries may be an unwelcome challenge in the time immediately following a completed suicide. Follow your organization’s policies on communicating with media. If in doubt, simply decline comment.

Respect the privacy of the person, and their friends and family.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Recognizing your own limits is important to avoid burnout. Many factors can affect your emotional stability. Practice self-care daily.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Suicide Prevention Resource Center. 2011. After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc.

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide http://reportingonsuicide.org/

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Surgeon General and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. Washington, DC: HHS, September 2012. URL: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/national-strategy-suicide-prevention Retrieved October 24, 2015.

Yahoo! News. Students in Crisis: Mental Health & Suicide on College Campuses. URL: http://news.yahoo.com/mental-health-suicide-on-college-campuses-katie-couric-141742009.html Retrieved October 28, 2015.

Collings, S.C., & Kemp, C.G., (2010). Death knocks, professional practice, and the public good: The media experience of suicide reporting in New Zealand. Social Science and Medicine, 71(2), 244-248.

Davis, J.M., & Bates, C. (1990). Faculty suicide: Guidelines for effective coping with a suicide in a counselor-training program. Counselor Education & Supervision, 29(3), 197.

Hsiung, Robert C. (2007). A suicide in an online mental health support group: reactions of the group members, administrative responses, and recommendations. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4), 495-500.

Kübler-Ross, E. (1969). On Death and Dying, Routledge.

Niederkrotenthaler, T., Sonneck, G., Niederkrotenthaler, T., Till, B., Kapusta, N. D., Voracek, M., Dervic, K., Dervic, K., & Sonneck, G. (2009). Copycat effects after media reports on suicide: A population-based ecologic study. Social Science and Medicine, 69(7), 1085-1090.

Pirkis, J., Blood, R.W., Skehan, J., & Dare, A. (2010). Suicide in the news: informing strategies to improve the reporting of suicide. Health Communication, 25(6-7), 576-577.

Powell, K.A., & Matthys, A. (2013). Effects of Suicide on Siblings: Uncertainty and the Grief Process. Journal of Family Communication, 13(4), 321-339.

Stern, S. R. (2003). Encountering distressing information in online research: a consideration of legal and ethical responsibilities. new media & society, 5(2), 249-266.

Westerlund, M. (2013). Talking suicide: online conversations about a taboo subject. Nordicom Review, 34(2), 35-46.