Suicide Awareness and Prevention - You Can Make a Difference!

Instructor: Dr. Tracy L. Skaer
Date: Wednesday February 13, 2019

Time: 10:00 AM PST | 01:00 PM EST

Duration: 60 Minutes

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  • Price $139.
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Overview:

Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide. Suicide remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide accounting for over 800,000 deaths each year. While females are 1.4 times more likely to attempt suicide, males are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than females.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Institute of Medicine have declared that suicide prevention be a global and national imperative.

Associated risk factors for suicide include male gender, mental health and substance abuse, previous suicide attempts, financial loss, health-related occupation, age over 65, White, American Indian, and Alaska Native races, unemployed, living alone and/or social isolation, history of childhood trauma, chronic pain, family history of suicide, access to health care, ease of availability of means for suicide, and stigma against those who seek help for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

The most common means used in US suicides are firearms (51%), suffocation, poison/overdose (15%), jump/fall (3%),and cutting (2%). Poisoning, most frequently from medication overdose, is the leading method of non-fatal attempts and is associated with 52% of the hospitalizations related to suicide attempts.

Anti-anxiety agents, sedatives, hypnotics, pain relievers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants are the most frequent medications associated with suicide. Anti-anxiety medications and hypnotics are associated with 53% and pain relievers such as opioids account for 40% of suicide attempts.

One in five suicide attempts also involve the use of antidepressant medications. Taken in total, multiple medications are often present in attempted suicide and mortality.

The US Veteran population is especially vulnerable with 10 to 30% diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Those with PTSD have higher rates of opioid use disorder (OUD). The suicide rates for PTSD and OUD are 58 and 140 per 100,000, respectively.

Several studies have discovered that suicidal individuals may not always be aware that their symptoms may be helped by psychological interventions. A survey of 165 college students with increased risk of suicide who had not sought professional treatment found that 66% of them believed that they did not require treatment.

Another college student study in those with suicidal ideation over the past 12 months reported that the students who did not seek medical assistance often felt that their problems were not serious enough to warrant psychological treatment and would improve on their own.

These students also believed that stress, a potential severe manifestation of suicidal ideation, was part of a normal college environment and not something to raise concern. The WHO's global survey found that 58% of adults also had a low perceived need to seek treatment. Additionally, suicidal individuals may not report needing care because they have a stigma associated with their symptoms.

Improved mental health literacy to identify when to seek care may be key to improving service use rates and patient outcomes. Research has shown that positive attitudes towards care, mental health literacy, peer training, family and friend support, prior service utilization, gatekeeper training, and screening for suicidal thoughts and behaviors are helpful to improve recognition of at-risk individuals and referrals to appropriate treatment.

Suicide awareness and prevention strategies are a global imperative requiring all of us within our respective communities to identify and assist those individuals affected. This webinar is designed to teach participants to recognize risk factors and warning signs of suicide, recommend appropriate medical assistance, and promote preventive measures.

Why should you Attend: A larger percentage of our population suffers from mental illness and substance abuse which are major risk factors for suicide and self-injury.

Given the large number of attempted suicides, the chances that you will encounter someone planning to take their ownlife is highly probable.

Suicide awareness and prevention training can provide key insight, help those at risk, and potentially save lives.

This program is designed for any level employee to learn how to better recognize suicidal behavior, provide appropriate referral, and institute helpful prevention strategies.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Suicide Facts and Statistics
  • Risk Factors for Suicide
  • Common Myths and Facts
  • Recognizing Warning Signs
  • Steps to help Someone Contemplating Suicide
  • Prevention Measures and Resources

Who Will Benefit:
  • Any Level Employee from All Occupations

Speaker Profile
Dr. Tracy L. Skaer is a tenured Professor Emeritus of Pharmacotherapy, licensed pharmacist in three states (WA, CA, ID), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) practitioner. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California (2000) and MBSR training (2007) through the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center of Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society from world renowned mentors Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Saki Santorelli.

She has received training in mental health first aid for adults and youths from the National Council for Behavioral Health, as well as, serves as a suicide awareness and referral trainer for the Washington State Pharmacy Association.

Since 1991, Dr. Skaer has received over $3.2 million in funding to support her research, published 133 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 6 textbook chapters, as well as presented over 100 abstracts at conferences around the world.


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