‘The reasons for suicides are often complex and multi-dimensional. Each suicide is one too many.’ – Minister for Health, Nominated Member of Parliament Ms. Kuik Shiao-Yin, 2016
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds globally, and the rates of young people attempting and completing suicide & self-harm are steadily increasing over time. Mental health professionals & educators who work with youth often find themselves in challenging situations with few resources and little knowledge and training in the area of suicide and self-harm risk assessment, management, treatment, and prevention. They often feel isolated and uncertain when conducting assessments, and may be unaware of the organizational, legal, and ethical requirements associated with at-risk youth.
This workshop is particularly relevant for people who works with vulnerable youths whether in schools or in the community. The workshop coverage focuses on equipping participants how to conduct a preliminary assessment of the distressed youth and to make informed follow-on actions such as immediate admission to hospital, recommendation for psychological diagnosis and treatment, etc. Three major areas are discussed. Part A describes tell-tales signs of people inclined to self-harm and suicide. Participants will also learn possible sources of the teen’s distress, and why it manifests as self-harm and suicidal behaviours. Part B lay down guidelines how participants should do when facing a youth-at-risk. It discusses the typical profiles to looks out for, how to handle disclosures during a conversation with the youth, and how to make preliminary suicide and self-harm risk assessments. Posture and sample questions to ask during assessments are discussed. Part C focuses on the broader picture – strategies for suicide & self-harm prevention (such as building resilience), understanding risk and protective factors, setting policies and procedures for the organization, and management of those impacted by the at-risk youths such as family members and other at-risk individuals belonging to the same cluster.
The practical workshop is offered in a multi-modal format including immersive and experiential training via role-play, case studies, peer activities, and observation in addition to traditional teaching strategies.
The ‘Supporting Youth with Self-Harm and Suicide Tendencies (Level 2)’ workshop is an extension of Level 1. Level 2 builds upon the case assessment skills gained in Level 1. The focus is on how to develop case formulations and treatment plans. Participants will also learn how to implement treatment plan.
This workshop is specially designed for all following participants regardless whether or not they have formal training in psychology/counselling/social work, and understanding of adolescent development:
- Social Workers, Counsellors and Psychologists working in VWOs
- Medical Social Workers working in hospitals and medical institutions
- School Personnel, such as Principals and Vice-Principals, HOD Pupil Welfare, HOD Discipline and School Counsellors
- Psychologists and Counsellors in private practice
- School Counsellors
7 hour (9 to 5 pm)
Part A: Understanding At-Risk Youth
- Overview of youth suicide and self-harm
- Tell-tale signs of youth-at-risk
- Cognitive-behavioural approach
- Development theory approach, etc
- Understanding sources of a teen’s distress, its manifestation as self-harming or suicidal behaviours from perspective of relevant development theories:
- physical theories
- cognitive theories
- social theories
- learning theories
Activity: Role-play and case study
Part B: Systematic Approach to Handle a Case
- General profiles of youths with higher risk of self-harm and suicide
- Dealing with disclosures
- Assessing a Case
- Risk and Protective Factors
- 5 world model (Carr-Greg, 2007)
- Follow-up actions
Activity: Case activities and video discussion
Part C: Suicide and Self-Harm: An Organisational Perspective
- Making Safety Plan
- Managing the impact of suicide & self-harm in the community
- Who will be affected? What will the impact be?
- Managing Fallout
- Suicide & Self-Harm Prevention Strategies
- Building resilience
- Suicide Prevention Framework
- Actions to prevent onset of suicidal behaviour
- Actions to intervene early and effective to reduce suicide
- Actions to lower the impact of suicide
- Actions to promote well-being
Activity: How to make a safety plan, etc.