Lakeshore News Tonight

Professionals Learn to Help Suicidal People

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September 17, 2013 — A group of people interested in guiding others away from the possibility of suicide is learning the right questions to ask someone contemplating the end.

It is very difficult to look at someone and know if they are suicidal and if you don’t know them very well the “tell-tale” signs are even harder to uncover.  That’s why “A Positive Approach to Teen Health” involves educating people in the community.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Britta Neinast says, “it’s very different for everyone, but one of the things that you’ll start to notice is maybe a change in behavior or change in mood.”  Neinast says, the word “suicide” is connected to a stigma that challenges people who need help.

LCSW, Neinast says, “so one of the major solutions is for us to say it is an issue that we have, that anyone can be vulnerable to suicide at any point and time.”

Most programs train individuals to rescue victims.  This seminar gives trainers confidence and tools to approach someone, then help them.

Airen-Celeste Harris, a guest attending the training says, “I’m pretty much learning how to slow life down and listen to cues that people give, they may not outright say, that they are thinking about suicide, but they are giving you the kinds of details and cues just by the things they are saying.”

Donna Golob from A Positive Approach Teen Health says, “I think the takeaway for me today is the confidence to be able to do what we do and to let that fear go.”

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) says people who make poor choices tend to be more suicidal. Donna Golob, A Positive Approach to Teen Health says, “inappropriate sexual relationships, and we know that there is a connection to all of those high-risk behaviors and suicide rates.”

Both groups, ASIST and A Positive Approach To Teen Health, say they are hopeful the training will help people recognize a person in danger of committing suicide and provide the courage to step in to help.


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