Understanding Suicide Prevention
JSPC takes a three-tiered approach to suicide prevention. Look below to learn more.
Level One: Promote Community Awareness About Suicide
JSPC fights stigma about mental illness and suicide through community outreach that makes people feel more comfortable talking about suicide.
Watch Dr. Bob Baugher's Presentation on Intervention and Prevention
Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and anyone can participate in helping to both recognize the warning signs and prevent suicide from happening. Here, Dr. Bob Baugher provides a training on Suicide Intervention and Prevention by walking the audience through learning about early warning sings and effective methods of suicide intervention. To view the training, please click below.
Juneau Mental Health Directory
The Juneau Mental Health Directory helps people navigate the available mental health resources in Juneau.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are worried about someone who may be suicidal, help is available. The Juneau Mental Health Directory provides a comprehensive list of all the mental health agencies, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists in Juneau.
Suicide Warning Signs:
Warning signs indicate that someone may be suicidal. They show that something is very wrong. Though they appear clear and concrete they are often hard to see in someone that we are close to or in ourselves. Warning signs are not always present, but it is important that they be identified when they are evident.
Hopelessness, worthlessness, feeling a loss of control, helplessness
Threatening to harm oneself or completing suicide
Having a definite plan for completing suicide
Acquiring the means to complete suicide (e.g, getting a gun)
Rehearsing or visiting a place to complete suicide
Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
Changes in eating, sleeping, and personal care, apathy, lack of energy, inability to focus
Talking or writing about death, drawing images of death
Withdrawing from social relationships or activities
Losing interest in hobbies, work, school
Giving away highly valued personal items or possessions
Undergoing significant changes in mood and personality
Engaging in reckless or dangerous behaviors
Making a will, funeral arrangements, or telling others how affairs should be handled
Suicide Risk Factors
Keep in mind events and circumstances that increase risk:
Having more warning signs: If your friend has more than a couple of these warning signs for suicide in the near-team, do contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or a mental health professional: having more than one of these signs has been associated with greater risk of suicidal behavior. (Remember, if a youth has critical warning signs like talking about killing him or herself or dying or looking for ways to kill him or herself, get immediate help.)
Losses: Losses and other events – whether anticipated or actual – can lead to feelings of shame, humiliation, or despair and may serve as triggering events for suicidal behavior. Triggering events include losses, such as the breakup of a relationship or a death; academic failures; trouble with authorities, such as school suspensions or legal difficulties; bullying; or health problems. This is especially true for youth already vulnerable because of low self-esteem or a mental disorder, such as depression. Help is available and should be arranged.
Previous suicide attempts: If your friend has attempted suicide in the past, he or she is at an increased risk for another attempt or suicide. Many suicide attempts go unrecognized, but if you are aware of a previous attempt, pay attention to warning signs. If your friend is expressing some thoughts about suicide, it’s okay to ask, “have you ever had these thoughts before?” and if so, “have you ever done anything about them?” This is especially important when conditions are similar to prior attempts.
Level Two: Increase Positive Protective Factors
In this level, JSPC seeks to reach out to the community. We hold programs to provide support and to promote positive protective factors to these individuals and their support networks.
Signs of Suicide:
Signs of Suicide is a school-based cirriculum for students in grades 6-12.
SOS Signs of Suicide (SOS) is a presentation designed for middle school (ages 11-13) and high school (ages 13-17) students. The goals of this program are:
· Decrease suicide and suicide attempts by increasing student knowledge and adaptive attitudes about depression
· Encourage personal help-seeking and/or help-seeking on behalf of a friend
· Reduce the stigma of mental illness and acknowledge the importance of seeking help or treatment
· Engage parents and school staff as partners in prevention through “gatekeeper” education
· Encourage schools to develop community-based partnerships to support student mental health
Level Three: Crisis Intervention
At this level, JSPC seeks to connect people in a crisis to resources and equip the community with the knowledge of how to help others they know if they were to experience a mental health crisis.
What to Say to Someone Who May be Suicidal
Are you worried someone you know is thinking of suicide but you’re not sure what to do? Here are 6 things to say and do to try and keep them safe:
Ask directly about their suicidal feelings. Talking about suicide is the first step to preventing suicide!
Let them know you care.
Keep them away from anything that may cause harm such as guns, pills, ropes, knives, vehicles etc.
Stay with them (eyes on at all times) and get a professional involved.
Offer a message of hope – Let them know you will assist them in getting help.
Connect them with help:
Alaska Careline: 877-266-4357 text 4help: 839863
Crisis Text for Life: 741741
Alaska Suicide Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (press “1” for veterans)
Visit the Juneau mental Health Directory at juneaumentalhealth.org
If in an imminent crisis please go to the emergency department; or emergencies dial 911