Facing Suicide: Important Insights [2023]

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Course Author(s)

James Barrat, Michael Rosenfeld, Produced and Sponsored by Twin Cities PBS

Course Summary

The CDC is approaching suicide as a public health crisis because the rate in the United States has been on the rise since about 1999. Across the US, suicide kills more people than car crashes and twice as many people as homicides. About 47,000 a year. For scientists, doctors and therapists that raises a crucial question. How can we identify the people who are most at risk and how can we help them?  In the US, the largest number of suicides occur among middle-aged and elderly white men.

scientists hope they can point the way to helping people earlier, before they're in a crisis. That's 15 million Americans in 2019, with serious thoughts of suicide. It's a complicated challenge, because suicide results from a mix of causes, which are often different from one person to another. But one factor is almost always present.

A mental health condition like depression or substance abuse disorder. There are other risk factors as well, things that relate to impulsivity, aggression, experiences from the past, adversity, trauma, abuse. So it is really important to understand that suicide has multiple risk factors that converge, that come together, and it's not really ever going to be one issue that causes suicide. Suicides many causes make it hard to identify who is at risk, and how to help them.

This presentation is designed to help you better understand those who are facing suicidal thoughts and give you hope that YOU can help them, or get them the help they need. But first, you must be aware and recognize some of the signs that someone is dealing with suicidal depression.

Course Syllabus

  • Facing Suicide: Important Insights

    • Introduction and Meet Greg Whitesell
    • Stress and Depression Can Affect Anyone
    • Intervention Works, Science of the Brain
    • Genetics and Environmental Factors
    • The Value of Peer Intervention
    • The Power of Peer Intervention
    • The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide
    • The Safety Plan Intervention, The Denmark Example
    • You Can Make a Difference, There is Hope
    • Assessment