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Announcements

  • The first webinar in a new webinar and conference call series from the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S) will take place on Wednesday, January 9th from 2-3 p.m. Eastern Time. Entitled The Intersection of Suicide Research and Public Health Practice: Laying the Foundation for Partnership, this webinar will explore the public health and collaboration frameworks for suicide prevention and suicide research.

    The webinar is designed for researchers and state or local practitioners in injury or suicide prevention. The goal of this webinar and the ICRC-S webinar and conference call series is to promote a dialogue between researchers and practitioners, enabling them to identify new, collaborative projects that will inform and enhance suicide prevention efforts and research.

    Presenters include Eric Caine, MD, John Romano Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Elly Stout, MS, Prevention Support Program Manager for SPRC. The webinar will be moderated by Ann Marie White, EdD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    A follow-up conference call will be held on Wednesday, January 16th from 2-3 p.m. Eastern Time, providing an opportunity for an in-depth discussion of the material presented in the webinar.

  • SAMHSA’s new website, Coping with Violence and Traumatic Events, is a collection of resources from SAMHSA and other organizations geared toward coping after a traumatic event. The collection includes information on how to discuss the recent school shooting for parents, teachers, and other caregivers, as well as information for students, health professionals and the media. The website also features the Disaster Distress Helpline, the nation’s first hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling by trained professionals.

  • At-Risk for Middle School Educators is a 50-minute, online, interactive gatekeeper training program that teaches middle school educators and staff how to (1) identify students exhibiting signs of psychological distress, including depression and thoughts of suicide, (2) approach students to discuss their concern, and (3) make a referral to school support personnel. At-Risk for Middle School Educators is available from Kognito Interactive for a fee.

  • The person filling this position will create effective online education programs to increase the knowledge and build the skills of a broad range of professionals in the field of suicide prevention. The Training Institute manager will maintain existing online courses; develop, implement, and evaluate R2P webinars and skill-building online workshops; coordinate efforts with the other SPRC teams; and explore new approaches to distance learning to effectively serve our audiences.

Research

  • A study conducted on the relationship between self-injurious behavior and substance abuse among young people of the White Mountain Apache Tribe found that suicidal behavior peaks among younger members of that tribe. This is similar to the pattern found in other American Indian communities, but unlike that of the general population of the United States, in which the rate of suicide is higher among middle-aged and older adults than it is among adolescents and young adults. The authors also identified an association between substance abuse and self-injurious behavior among young people on the Fort Apache Reservation which may help inform the creation of culturally specific interventions for the tribe in the future.

    Although those between the ages of 15-24 compose 20 percent of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, they accounted for 65 percent of all suicides, 53 percent of all attempts, 44 percent of all ideation, and 43 percent of all non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) during the study years (2007-2010). Sixty-four percent of young people who died by suicide were “drunk or high” at the time of their death. Almost 76 percent were drunk or high when attempting suicide. Nearly half were drunk or high during suicidal ideation. Over one-third were drunk or high during NSSI. The co-occurrence of substance use was markedly higher for more lethal behavior and among males, although the association between substance abuse and self-injurious behavior among females increased through the study years.

    Alcohol was the substance most often associated with self-injury. Alcohol was associated with 97 percent of attempts, 92 percent of ideation, and 48 percent of NSSI. Marijuana was the drug with the next highest levels of association with self-injurious behavior. Marijuana was associated with 18 percent of attempts, 11 percent of ideation, and 5 percent of NSSI.

    Although this study indicates that there is a relationship between substance abuse and suicidal behavior among younger members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, it could not show “the extent to which substance use preceded or prompted suicide or other self-harm behaviors.” The authors suggest that more detailed research into the relationship between substance abuse and self-injury among American Indian youth could inform the creation of effective interventions.

    The data on suicide, attempts, ideation, and self-harm analyzed for this study were taken from the tribally mandated self-injury surveillance registry created and implemented by the White Mountain Apache Tribe in conjunction with researchers from Johns Hopkins University, on the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona.

    Barlow, A., Tingey, L., Cwik, M., Goklish, N., Larzelere-Hinton, F., Lee, A., …Walkup, J. T. (2012). Understanding the relationship between substance use and self-injury in American Indian youth.American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 38(5):403-408.

News

National News

  • According to a study published this month in the Journal of Adolescent Health, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) could be a risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. “While we can’t conclude that self-injury leads to later suicide attempts, it is a red flag that someone is distressed and is at greater risk,” said lead author Janis Whitlock. “It also suggests that if someone with self-injury history becomes suicidal, having engaged in NSSI may make it much easier to carry out the physical actions needed to lethally damage the body.” The longitudinal study of 1,466 students at five U.S. colleges found that people who had self-injured were almost three times more likely to attempt or consider suicide.

    Dec 5, 2012

State News

  • The Sources of Strength suicide prevention program in place at Palo Alto high school has been successful at changing social norms so far, according to the results of an evaluation of the first year of the three-year program. Between fall and spring, the percentage of students at Gunn High School reporting they felt comfortable talking about personal problems with someone outside of their family or school rose from 70 percent to 90 percent. The percentage saying they could discuss problems with an adult in their family rose from 85 percent to 95 percent. Over the next two years, school officials hope to increase the percentage of students reporting they would actually seek help from a counselor or other adult at school.

    Dec 17, 2012
  • The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to the local community with a suicide prevention message. Their new series of public service announcements includes two 30-second spots for men, one for women, and two for teens. All of the spots share the theme that reaching out for help is the key to preventing suicide.

    Dec 14, 2012