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The Counseling Team International and The Law Enforcement Wellness Association Presents

The Counseling Team International and The Law Enforcement Wellness Association Presents

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The Counseling Team International and The Law Enforcement Wellness Association Presents

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  1. The Counseling Team International and The Law Enforcement Wellness Association Presents Dealing with Depression & Suicide Situations Tactics for Prevention and Intervention “Making Strides to Save Lives”

  2. Suicide A permanent solution to a temporary situation…..

  3. “Officers of the law are twice as likely to put a gun to their heads as be killed by someone else, and yet they are trained as if exactly the opposite were true” [Turvey]

  4. Scope of the Problem and Myths of Suicide

  5. Why Are We Here? “Although suicide is always complex and multifactorial, most experts feel the majority of suicides remain preventable”– Dr. Paul Quinnett, The QPR Institute

  6. Why Are We Here? “Now that we know suicide is preventable, the race is between education and tragedy” – Dr. Paul Quinnett, The QPR Institute

  7. Why Are We Here? “Approximately 80% of suicides have communicated their intent…” – Ralph Slovenko – from the forward of Dr. John Violanti’s book: Police Suicide; Epidemic in Blue

  8. Statistics Americans commit suicide at a rate of about 11 per 100,000 residents making suicide the 11th leading cause of death in the United States - American Association of Suicidology (AAS)

  9. Statistics – 2003 • 31,484 U.S. citizens committed suicide in 2003 • Averages out to 86.3 per day • 1 person every 16.7 minutes • Females make non-fatal attempts 3 times more often than males • However, males succeed 4 times more often than females • Catholics are far less likely to attempt suicide

  10. Law Enforcement Statistics The exact number of law enforcement suicides are not known because… • there is no national reporting forum such as, for example, the FBI in the line of duty death numbers • most reputable studies are done within geographical areas, not nationwide • many experts feel the actual numbers are under reported

  11. Law Enforcement Statistics • The Law Enforcement Suicide Rate ranges between 17 and 22 per 100,000 - John M. Violanti, Ph.D. • Well above the national average of 11 per 100,000 • 119 to 154 Law Enforcement Officers are taking their own lives each year

  12. Statistics • Male officers are far more likely than female officers to commit suicide • Single never married are 2 times more likely • Married with small children – lowest rate

  13. Statistics The “typical” officer who commits suicide is: ~ a white, 36.9 year-old, married male with 12.2 years of law enforcement experience ~ Off duty (86.3%) ~ With a gun (90.7%) ~ At home (54.8%) –Michael G. Aamodt, Ph.D. and Nicole A. Werlick, M.A.

  14. The “Real Truth” Not a very pretty picture but the facts are: • Police officers are 8 times more likely to die from suicide than homicide • 3 times more likely to die from suicide than from accidental causes • What is the true survival skill we seem to be missing?

  15. What we know…and don’t know • United States Law Enforcement Personnel as of October 2000… • 708,000 Full Time Sworn Officers (State, County, and City) U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics – Oct. 2002

  16. Ranked Factors in Law Enforcement Suicide • Responses by NYPD Survey • Depression • Relationship conflicts or personal losses • Easy access to firearms • Drug and alcohol abuse • Financial difficulty • Internal investigations

  17. Myths and Facts Myth: People who talk about killing themselves rarely commit suicide Fact: Most people give definite warning signs they will attempt suicide

  18. Myths and Facts Myth: Suicidal intentions are inherited and passed from generation to generation Fact: Suicide is not transmitted genetically although chances are much greater if a significant other has committed suicide

  19. Myths and Facts Myth: After depression begins to subside the suicide danger is passed Fact: In actuality, most suicides take place within the first three months after depression lifts

  20. Myths and Facts Myth: Only Experts can prevent suicide Fact: Suicide prevention is everybody’s business and anyone, with training, can prevent the tragedy of suicide

  21. Myths and Facts Myth: Suicidal people keep their plans to themselves Fact: Most suicidal people communicate their intent to someone within one week of completing suicide

  22. Myths and Facts Myth: Once a person decides to complete suicide, there is nothing anyone can do to stop them Fact: Suicide is viewed as the most preventable form of death and almost any positive action may save a life

  23. Why Police Officers Commit Suicide?

  24. Primary Reasons • Legal troubles • Depression • Relationship problems • Fear of a secret getting out

  25. Primary Reasons • Gain attention • Punish self or others • To solve a problem • Time to escape pain • Continued pain worse than death (depression)

  26. Primary Reasons • The ultimate revenge • Shame • Death of a child or spouse • Loss of a child or spouse through divorce • Terminal illness

  27. Primary Reasons • Responsibility for partners death • Killed someone out of anger • Feeling alone • Sexual accusations

  28. Primary Reasons • Perfectionism: *Self-oriented – “It makes me uneasy to see an error in my work” *Other-oriented – “If I ask someone to do something, I expect it to be done flawlessly” *Socially prescribed – “My family expects me to be perfect” -Hewwitt & Flett

  29. Understanding Depression

  30. A Word About Depression… • The #1 cause of completed suicide • The common cold of modern life…. • Has biological foundations - Serotonin • Very highly treatable if detected and acknowledged • Wishing to be dead is a frequent symptom of untreated depression

  31. A Word About Alcohol… • Alcohol dissolves the “wall of resistance” that often keeps suicidal individuals alive. • Alcohol is found in the blood of most completed suicides – whether or not they were problem drinkers. • ALCOHOL MAKES DEPRESSION WORSE!

  32. Signs • Poor appetite • Weight loss • Sleep disturbances • Loss of interest

  33. Signs • Loss of energy • Feelings of worthlessness • Difficulty concentrating • Repeated thoughts of suicide

  34. Signs • Appearance-neglected • Behavior-fatigue • Mood/affect-down • Perceptions/illusions • Thinking slowed

  35. BehaviorChanges • Diminished interests • Quiet/detached • Considering career change

  36. Behavior Changes • Crying • Withdrawal • Retardation • Agitation • Hallucinations

  37. Cognitive Changes • Negative self-concept • Negative view of the world • Negative expectations for the future

  38. Cognitive Changes • Self-blame • Self-criticism • Indecisiveness

  39. Helplessness Hopelessness Worthlessness Delusions Cognitive Changes

  40. Physical Changes • Sleep disorder • Eating disorder

  41. Physical Changes • Menstrual/irregularity • Impotence/frigidity • Weight loss

  42. High Risk Factors Symptoms of depression: • 15% of people untreated will commit suicide • Complaints of physical illness • 50% will have visited their primary physician within 1 week of the suicide

  43. High Risk Factors • Substance abuser • Anxiety disorders • High levels of stress in life • History of family pathology • Suicide of role model • Watch for same sex parent

  44. High Risk Factors • Becomes withdrawn – shy, solitary • Sleep deprivation is the general complaint • Sleep is a metaphor for “death” ~ Put to rest ~ Slumber room

  45. High Risk Factors • Has communicated suicidal thoughts • Unable to concentrate • Unable to deal with frustration – easily angered • Seems to lose love of the profession • Giving away possessions

  46. High Risk Factors Major Losses in Life • Death • Divorce • Second divorce high • Separation • Recently separated high

  47. High Risk Factors Major Losses in Life • Unemployment • Status • Physical capabilities • Body image

  48. Types of Losses (Loss of some part of self) • Physical • Emotional • Psychological • Family member • Mental functioning - Disease

  49. Losses can… • be by choice • be beyond their control • come suddenly or gradually

  50. Career Losses • Terminated • Promoted • Changing careers