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Samaritans Guide to Suicide Prevention Materials and Resources
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Welcome to the Samaritans of New York’s guide to suicide prevention materials and resources for family members and friends, lay and professional caregivers and service providers who are responding to or working with those who are at-risk for suicide.
This webpage contains a cross-section of Internet links to information on suicide statistics, trends, warning signs, risk factors, the keys to effective responses to high-risk individuals (including children, adolescents, adults, elderly, suicide survivors, etc.), current research and major organizations that provide clinical, scholarly as well as practical articles and studies.
There are also materials on the approach, behaviors, skills and procedures practiced by the professionally trained hotline volunteers who staff the Samaritans 24-hour confidential suicide prevention hotline in New York City—the local branch of the world’s oldest and largest suicide prevention network with 400 centers in 42 countries, from Argentina, Bosnia, Great Britain, India and Singapore to Trinidad and Zimbabwe.
The materials and resources listed in this guide are intended to assist those providing care and/or treatment to individuals who are in distress or suicidal with the information they need to maximize their effectiveness, expand their knowledge base and respond to the challenges they face when responding to people in crisis, whether personally or professionally.
The materials are also intended to provide insight and perspective into the public health problem of suicide and the most effective means of preventing it.
The individual using this guide should select topics in accordance with his or her individual needs and preference in reading styles, formats and sources, a process that will be aided by the short descriptions below every entry.
The compilation of materials and resources below are based on the Samaritans of New York’s experience providing suicide prevention public education and awareness training to over 30,000 lay and professional caregivers from hundreds of community-based organizations, schools and government agencies in New York City over the last 20 years, including the NYC Department of Education, Department of Youth and Community Development, Department for the Aging, Human Resources Administration, Health and Hospitals Corporation, NYPD, FDNY, NYC AIDS Task Forces, Safe Horizon, Mt. Sinai Rape Crisis, LOISADA Corporation, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, NYU Graduate School of Nursing, Hunter College School of Social Work, US Coast Guard, Salvation Army and the Girl Scouts of America.
We hope this guide is of assistance to you in responding to a person in crisis.
Statistics and Trends
U.S. Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet
Precise overview of key suicide prevention statistics nationally, by gender, age and method, 1999-2005, with charts and graphs. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention
Information overview of statistics, risk factors, trends by age, sex and ethnicity, about suicide attempts, etc. National Institute of Mental Health
Suicide: Facts at a Glance
An overview of fatal and non-fatal behaviors, gender disparities, racial and ethnic disparities and suicidal behavior among high-school students, with references. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Skills and Tools
Examining Myths About Suicide
Provides the reader with an opportunity to examine his or her thoughts and beliefs about suicide and the many myths, misconceptions and stigma surrounding suicide. The Samaritans of New York
Befriending a Person in Crisis
A basic overview of the approach to take and process to follow when responding to a person who is depressed, in crisis or suicidal based on the practices of the Samaritans of New York. The Samaritans of New York
An Introduction to Effective Active Listening
Learn the key tools used in crisis communications. The Samaritans of New York
A Befriender's Checklist for Providing Care
An overview of questions for family members, friends, caregivers and service providers to ask before trying to help someone in crisis. The Samaritans of New York
Crisis Communications Model and Determining Degree of Risk Procedure
A step-by-step rapport-building assessment procedure that can be utilized when communicating with people of every age, culture, background or identity that will assist you in establishing rapport, exploring the situation, and assessing the degree of risk to help decide what other protocols or services are necessary. The Samaritans of New York
A Guide to Designing a Site Suicide Prevention Plan
Basic guidelines and suggestions for developing a site prevention and response plan for schools and agencies. The Samaritans of New York
Responding to Children and Youth
An overview of the relationship between the family unit and a suicidal adolescent family member, including the family as risk factor, protective factor, keys to modifying suicidal behavior and action steps that can be taken. New York State Office of Mental Health
Special Populations, Adolescents
An overview of the risk and protective factors tied to adolescents as well as methods to enhance support systems, guidelines for helping for parents, peers, lay and professional caregivers, etc. New York State Office of Mental Health
Safeguarding Your Students Against Suicide, Expanding the Safety Net
Comprehensive report on findings of expert panel on Vulnerability, Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Behavior on College Campuses. Jed Foundation
Responding to Survivors
An introduction intended to develop sensitivity and understanding that will assist friends, family members and providers in responding to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide ("suicide survivor"). Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
A detailed bibliography of clinical studies and research with links to articles focusing on a wide variety of topics focusing on postvention, caregiver support, tips for professionals, recommendations for clergy, etc. tied to responding to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
An interactive webpage that will assist the user in finding a support group for someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, including location and contact information. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
For Lay and Professional Caregivers
The Role of Clergy in Preventing Suicide
An overview and guide for those working in faith and spiritual communities who are providing support to those who are depressed or suicidal or who have lost a loved one to suicide. Suicide prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
The Role of Clinical Social Workers and Mental Health Counselors in Preventing Suicide
An overview and guide for professional members of the clinical community on responding to and providing support and treatment to those who are depressed and suicidal, with references and resources. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
The Role of Primary Care Providers in Preventing Suicide
An overview and guide for doctors with regard to their role, and subsequent opportunities presented, when responding to patients who may be at-risk for suicide or presenting warning signs and risk factors, with references and resources. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
The Role of First Responders in Preventing Suicide
An overview and guide for first responders on helping those who have attempted suicide, responding to suicide survivors, and helping yourself and your fellow first responders, with references and resources. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Parents and Families as Caregivers
For Parents, Important Things to Remember
An overview and guide for parents on how to respond if your child is depressed or suicidal, including how to talk to him/her, questions to ask teachers and friends and what to do. Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS)
Facts for Families, Children’s Threats: When Are They Serious?
A guide to responding to children who are potentially suicidal, what to say, what threats should be taken seriously and what parents should do if they are concerned. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
Protecting Your Child’s Mental Health: What Can Parents Do?
A guide for parents who have children applying to or preparing to enter college in terms of understanding your child’s personality and the proper "fit" with the college, understanding the available mental health services and identifying your child’s personal, emotional, medical and other needs. The Jed Foundation
Safety Planning Guide, a Quick Guide for Clinicians
Defines the goals, methods and design involved in developing a safety plan of coping strategies and sources of support for patients who have been deemed high risk for suicide. Accompanied by a safety plan template. Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Best Practices Registry (BPR)
An introduction to and guide on how to use the BPR which is designed to identify, review and disseminate information about best practices that address specific objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The BPR is divided into three categories: evidence-based programs, expert and consensus statements and adherence to standards. Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
This document represents the combined work of advocates, clinicians, researchers and suicide survivors working under the leadership of then US Surgeon General David Satcher, MD in 2001, and lays out a framework for action to prevent suicide in the United States. The NSSP is the handbook and guide that most states and municipalities use in the planning, design and implementation of effective suicide prevention programs, services and initiatives. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP)
CDC: Suicide Prevention
A resource guide to a broad cross-section of suicide prevention related topics including statistics, populations, risk groups, strategies, programs, research and scientific information, resources, podcasts, etc. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
New York State Suicide Prevention Site
A resource guide and overview of suicide prevention information, materials, research focusing on various age groups, populations, geographic locales, etc. in New York State including regional/county events, available trainings, projects and other material of use to lay and clinical caregivers, service providers and stakeholders. New York State Office of Mental Health
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
The SPRC is a SAMHSA-funded agency that serves as a national library/research organization
that compiles and disseminates a broad spectrum of research, state and local plans, evaluations, training and other resource materials.
Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)
Government agency under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
that leads national efforts to improve prevention and mental health treatment services. Provides consumer and
scientific information, including mental health agencies by state, treatment facilities, how to access
"sliding scale" mental health services, etc. (800) 789-CMHS (2647)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and
families affected by mental illness, with local chapters throughout the states. Website provides review of literature and research, listings of support groups for the mentally ill and their families and other interesting projects and resources. (800) 950-6264
Samaritans Materials and Resources
Using Samaritans Hotline As a Referral....
The Samaritans of New York operates a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline that provides immediately accessible, ongoing emotional support to those who are in distress, depressed, in crisis and suicidal.
The service is completely confidential and is offered by caring Samaritans volunteers who are trained in active listening and suicide risk assessments. Every caller to the 24-hour hotline is taken through the Samaritans Crisis Communications Model, no matter how they identify themselves or their stated reason for calling. When someone calls the Samaritans hotline, we ask you how you are feeling, what is going on with you now and if you are suicidal. The hotline is often used to complement and bridge other services.
|| 24-Hour Confidential Hotline
"We All Need Someone to Lean On..." poster (8.5x11),
helping people get through difficult times message
|| 24-Hour Confidential Hotline Poster
"It's Your Call..." poster (8.5x11), phone booth, simple message.
Using Safe Place Support Groups as a Referral....
Samaritans Safe Place support group meetings provide “suicide survivors,” those who have lost a loved one to suicide,
with a safe and supportive environment to assist them in their grieving and healing process. Safe Place meetings are run as
"peer support groups" where the people participating have the opportunity to focus on their own thoughts and feelings,
whatever they may be, without any undo pressures or expectations, and to openly discuss how their loss has impacted their life.
Meetings are free of charge and take place on the first Wednesday and third Tuesday of every month in NYC.
Participants must be at least 18 years of age. Only those who have personally and directly experienced the loss are allowed to attend.
It is suggested that those who have suffered a recent loss access professional help or clinical support before attending a Safe Place meeting.
||Suicide Survivor Bereavement Support Groups
Free support groups in NYC for individuals who have lost a loved
one to suicide, for individuals aged 18 or older.
Order Samaritans Resource Materials
|To order free hotline cards, magnets and/or brochures, please send an email to Samaritans Public Education Office at firstname.lastname@example.org containing all of the following information. Only those requests containing full information can be filled.
1. First and Last Name
2. Organization/School Name
3. Department/Program Name
5. Daytime Phone Number
6. Mailing Address
7. Population you work with (e.g., youth, elderly, GLBT, the homeless, etc.)
8. Geographic area served (e.g., Citywide, Brooklyn & Queens, Tri-state area)
9. How did you hear about Samaritans? (if you found this link on a website, please indicate which site)
10. Number of brochures (maximum 25)
11. Number of Hotline cards (maximum 25)
12. Number of magnets (maximum 25)
13. Number of Suicide Survivor Support Group Cards (maximum 25)
||Heart-Shaped Magnets (2"), message: "We All Need Someone to Lean on...
When You Do, Call Samaritans 24-hour Crisis Hotline" (212) 673-3000
|| Hotline Cards, simple message, business card size: "Confidential emotional support
for those who feel depressed, in crisis or suicidal" (212) 673-3000
||Suicide Survivor Support Group Cards, simple message, business card size: "Support groups and resources when no one else seems to understand" with program contact information; backside includes Samaritans 24-hour hotline number ("24-hour emotional support when you need someone to talk to, if you are feeling depressed or suicidal")
|| Brochures: an overview of Samaritans suicide prevention hotline, public education and awareness
programs and services, warning signs, guidelines to helping, etc.
Samaritans thanks the New York City Council, Council Speaker Christine Quinn
and the New York State Office of Mental Health for the funding that made this public education project possible.
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from The Samaritans of New York. For any commercial use of Samaritans' documents,
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