Population Specific Suicide Prevention
Population Specific Approaches to Suicide Prevention
FROM SAD BLOKES TO WELL MEN: Changing the focus in preventing male suicide
It's time for a serious rethink in how we prevent male suicide and to take suicide in men out of the too hard basket
Well men matter
- It matters that men are able to optimise their wellbeing.
- It matters that men are over-represented in poor mental health and suicide statistics.
- Well men contribute to a well society. And equally unwell men affect the wellbeing of our society.
As a society we know the impact of unwell men. Across all all age and ethnic groups men are the major group who kill themselves every year. The devastating impact of these deaths on whānau cannot be under-estimated as we know see the next generation of younger men also suiciding. The impact of unwell men, especially Māori and Pacific Islander men, is not just in our suicide statistics. They are in our prisons and mental health facilities as well as being over-represented in numerous other statistics such as long-term unemployment, road fatalities, as perpetrators and victims of violence, offending, and addiction.
It matters that men are able to optimise their wellbeing. Well men contribute to well whānau, communities, workplaces, economy and society
Drawing on 35 years’ experience of working with suicidal men as well as epidemiological data and the latest international research findings, this workshop offers a conceptual framework from which to analyse the phenomenon of male suicide so as to inform the development of targeted and effective evidence-based prevention strategies rather than strategies that are opinion-based or ideologically informed. Barry also offers his personal insights as a man who has lived with depression for many years.
Applying both sociological and gender analysis to broaden our understanding of suicide in men, the workshop examines the cumulative impact that social, cultural and economic determinants, such as changes in gender roles and expectations; participation in the labour market, economic reforms, relationship status have had on men’s sense of identity and purpose and ultimately on their wellbeing and the rise in suicide. In assessing suicide risk in men social and cultural factors such as ethnicity, age and sexuality, social and economic disparities, colonisation and intergenerational trauma are just as critical as psychological factors.
- Overview of suicide in men
- The Suicidal Moment - Men's thoughts, emotions and behaviour in the "suicidal moment”
- Masculinity for the 21st Century - Are traditional notions of masculinity meeting the needs of men in 20120? How the changes in men’s roles and identity contribute to suicide in men
- Intergenerational suicide among men and its impact of whānau and hapū
- A vision for men’s wellbeing: An holistic approach to conceptualising men’s wellbeing and key mental wellbeing messages for men
GREY NOT BLUE: Depression & suicide in older people
Many general population suicide prevention and mental wellbeing campaigns do not or inadequately address the unique contributing factors to depression and suicide in older people.
Studies indicate that the aged care sector is underprepared, the workforce under skilled and there lacks leadership to champion effective prevention strategies and promoting wellbeing in older people.
- knowledgeable about the latest research and understanding of suicide in older people
- confident and competent in responding to the depressed or suicidal older person
- able to implement a suicide postvention response and provide support for those impacted by a suicide death
Emerging mental health issueAs the baby boomer generation age, many will enjoy reasonable physical health, however mental health issues, in particular depression, will be much more prevalent. This is not just an issue for those in primary care or aged care facilities but is one that needs serious consideration by management and workers in retirement villages. In a study of the locations of suicide in New Zealand, it was found that apart from private home, aged care facilities and retirement villages were the most common places where older people killed themselves. This has implications for family, staff and other residents.
Impact of COVID-19COVID-19 has had a significant impact on older people’s mental wellbeing. The over-representation of older people in COVID related deaths and the self-isolating and physical distancing has heightened feelings of loneliness and isolation, issues that already are major risk determinants of suicide in older people. COVID-19 related depression and anxiety in older people will be addressed in the workshop.
Suicide vs Assisted DyingIn November 2021 the End of Life Choice Act allowing assisted dying became law. The previous year's public referendum saw a robust public debate about whether people have the right to end their life at a time of their choosing and, if so, under what circumstances. It presented a combination of philosophical, moral, legal and ethical dilemmas. The public debate highlighted the common misconception that assisted dying equates suicide. Understanding the difference between the two is critical for those working with older people. While the narrative of a suicidal older person may be similar to someone wishing to take up the option of assisted dying when at the end stage of a terminal illness, they are quite different in meaning and require different responses and interventions. The workshop will cover the complex interrelationship of factors, the difference between suicidality in older people and assisted dying and the appropriate responses and interventions for each.
- Grey not blue - Overview of depression and life stressors in older person and the risk for suicide
- The silent suffering – Social determinants of suicide in older people
- Suicidal behaviour vs Assisted Dying
- Identifying suicide ideation and behaviour in older person
- Support strategies for older people who are suicidal
- Dealing with the impact of a suicide of an older person and prevention of suicide contagion
HIGH & SUICIDAL: The compounding factor of addiction in suicidal people
The correlation between suicide and the use of alcohol just prior to the attempt has been long known. But this misuse does not necessarily indicate the suicidal person was living with addiction and the addiction was the "reason" for the suicide.
This workshop offers a comprehensive analysis of the association between addiction and suicidality. The analysis will look at how different substances (alcohol, cannabis and meth) contribute to suicide risk and influence the "suicidal moment" Explore in more detail how addiction compounds suicide risk and how this impacts on the way suicide risk is assessed. Understand why the narratives of people who are suicidal and those who live with addiction can often become intertwined and what happens when the narratives become one.
Become equipped to proactively engage with a suicidal narrative and be able to respond to the disclosure of suicide using a wellbeing framework as opposed to deficit remediation model - compassionate changemaking and being custodians of hope.
Become familiar with how suicide manifests itself in the recovery journey, Topics covered:
- Psych pain, Addiction and Suicidality - Different but the same
- What's the risk - Unpacking addiction as a compounding suicide risk factor
- When someone mentions suicide - engaging with the suicidal client with the scope of practice of addiction workforce.
- The acuteness of suicidality in the recovery journey - the reasons why
- When a client suicides in therapeutic or residential settings - mitigating the risk for suicide contagion
Responding to suicide in school pastoral care settings: A workshop for Deans
Response: A whole of workplace response to suicide prevention and mental wellbeing in first responders
- Overview of the phenomenon of suicide and the "suicide moment"
- Applying a wellbeing framework to suicide prevention initiatives
- Sad Misery and Depression - Identifying the difference
- Being strong - Attitudes to mental health and help seeking in male dominant work cultures
- Past childhood trauma and exposure to work related trauma
- Creating supportive environment for staff
- Support and debrieifing strategies when a staff member suicides
Suicide and Assisted Dying: The difference is more than just wording
The issues for those bereaved by suicide or assisted dying will also be covered as once again there are both differences and similarities in people’s responses to the deaths. Bereavement related suicidality will also be covered. Topics Include:
- The phenomenon of suicide – its meaning and the narrative of despair
- Assisted Dying - What it is and and why it is such a dilemma
- Drawing the line – who we allow to voluntarily end their life and those we don’t
- When does it stop being assisted dying and becomes suicidality?
- Quality of life and the existential motivator for living
- Depression and dying
- SupporAng those bereaved by suicide and assisted dying
- Bereavement related suicidality