Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals provides a practical toolbox that mental health professionals can start using immediately with clients thinking of suicide. Many books focus only on suicide risk assessment or on a single therapeutic framework. In contrast, Helping the Suicidal Person incorporates tips and techniques from an array of evidence-based therapies for suicidal individuals, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS). Other tips haven’t been tested but make good clinical sense, like to take into account the person’s religious beliefs and other cultural considerations. Helping the Suicidal Person draws from research findings and the clinical literature, but it's not overly academic in tone. It's conversational and rich with case scenarios. In all, the book contains 15 [...]
SpeakingOfSuicide.com is a website for anyone touched in any way by suicide - people who think of suicide, people who have attempted suicide, people who have lost someone to suicide, and the professionals who help all of the above. Although many of Speaking of Suicide's site's posts are geared toward lay people, there is a section for mental health professionals who help individuals affected by suicidal urges or suicide loss. That section contains the following posts: Language Matters: Committed Suicide vs. Completed Suicide vs. Died by Suicide How to Navigate Confidentiality and Contact with Family After a Client’s Suicide Wait, Who Is A Suicide Survivor Again? “Woefully Inadequate”: Suicide Prevention Training in Graduate Schools What is a Suicide Gesture? Is Suicide Inevitable for Some People? Should Therapists Attend the Funeral of [...]
Many activities are planned during Suicide Prevention Week, which follows Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10). One is a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 13, by John Draper, who has directed the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK) since 2004. According to the group PsychAlive, "Dr. Draper will discuss how we can amplify and magnetize hope and empower people to prevent suicides among their families and friends, in their schools, work, and communities." The webinar is Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 11a to noon Pacific Standard Time (12p MST/1p CST/2p EST). In case you can't attend, a recording will be available later on www.psychalive.org. For more information and to register, click here.
Over at my site SpeakingOfSuicide.com, I discuss a question to ask your suicidal clients: What stops you? I also discuss why some people are reluctant to ask this question, and why it is so important to ask, regardless. Check it out here: “What Stops You from Killing Yourself?”
If ever you feel hopeless about a suicidal client, remember that as long as the person is alive, there is hope for change – even when it seems otherwise. In my book Helping the Suicidal Person, I talk a lot about the need to maintain hope. This can be difficult, because the suicidal person’s hopelessness can infect you. Sadly, a feeling of hopelessness is often contagious. And your own sense of hopelessness likewise can infect (or re-infect) the suicidal person. So if you feel hopeless about your client’s ability to survive suicidal urges, actively try to reconnect with hope. Get consultation or talk to a therapist. Remind yourself that nobody’s suicide is inevitable, as I discuss in this post on my other website, SpeakingOfSuicide.com. And if you need a reminder [...]
Too many mental health professionals have too little education in suicide assessment and intervention. I discuss this lamentable state on my other website, in a post titled “Woefully Inadequate”: Suicide Prevention Training in Graduate Schools. Yet even the uncommon clinician with excellent training in helping suicidal individuals always has more to learn. With many evidence-based tips about fostering open discussions about suicide, assessing suicide risk, planning for safety, fostering hope, and building coping skills, my book Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals is a substantial start. When it comes to helping a suicidal person, though, you can never know too much. So, I created this website to provide information about many different ways you can increase your knowledge and skills in helping the suicidal person. [...]