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Suicide Prevention 092318

Sep 20, 2018|

AN INTERVIEW WITH RYAN PRICE FROM THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION ABOUT TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND HOW TO HELP PEOPLE CONSIDERING SUICIDE OR STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is meant Frisco and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm hearing blocks and on the show this time I would like to welcome Brian Price Ryan is the Oregon area director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hit it right Hillary thanks for having me here and certainly. So the month of September we're almost done with the month of November but the whole month has been national suicide prevention month books have been going on the month of September looks. He'll come the end is there's all kinds of things known nationally. And at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention we have Ben. Promote name people and encouraging people to have a real conversations about mental health suggests. Be open about it should get help if you needed for it to be real about it and also locally there's been a lot of different things happening. I mean this is a time lots of people are starting to talk about suicide and mental illness in this a positive thing. From a you know there's lots of different things happening across the counties in multnomah Washington clock amiss and down Marion County. Wins in a different showings of different films different coalitions getting together to kind of tackled suicide within their own communities and so it's it's time that people. If who don't normally in talk about here about mental health or suicide. Have that conversation and helps to you know raise awareness and help people understand that. You know while suicide is a devastating. Wave to lose someone. It is preventable there's resource is available for people to support each other and there's also resources. And tools available for people who are struggling. It's great that people are really starting to talk about mental health issues you know it's all over national news national television and globally and it's. That's a really important thing how how old what kind of difference is that making do you think you know makes a huge difference because. If you think about other causes of death that our country and that the world has is com to get better at and and that it was saving lives things like cancer and HIV aids. You know to go along win if we do a misunderstanding. About those diseases. You you struggle with the stigma people just talking about it and that's. In a city chief for mental health is that. If you don't talk about it you're not going to be able to get the help that you need to get well and have no to feel better and ultimately for people who struggle with suicide to stay alive. And so just talking about it's critical we've heard so many people. Have. Shared stories or interviews are are different articles with their friends family or co workers and have you know come back to us or to different people to say no. I wouldn't have thought about this otherwise thank you for sharing app because I was able to do this I was able to help this co worker in this family members through a tough time. How difficult is it for people to talk about their own mental health. That's a very it's a personal questions Laura for people in it and it varies you know on a scale between. People being. We're in the open and comfortable about talking about their mental health to people that you know it sometimes think that. Depression bipolar those things aren't even real and so there's a scale that were out in our country and so individually just kind of depends. Here I think that. Some people struggle with it because may be in the past they've reached out to someone and it it didn't go well they weren't receptive to the person they reached out to didn't listen. Terms of that can be challenging for some people say kind of depends on on the person but. The important thing to remember is that everyone has mental health and if we don't talk about it if we don't. You know either call a help line talked to us trusted friend or family member or talked to mental health professional. Your mental health might struggle for that and so that's the important thing is set find someone you trust and talk to them. Please say it's in and there's a such a large scale of of mental health how do you know when it's maybe time for you to reach out. Because everybody has good days and bad insurer share if you think you. If that is it occurs to you in your mind that maybe I should talk to someone that's a sure sign to reach out and it's kind of the same. For people that you know when you work with thirty you're better and your family your friends. That if you sense that something's wrong with them you may not know all the details about mental health or depression are made may be they're even thinking about suicide you don't know that but. To trust your gut and just assume you're the only person it's gonna reach out to that person and and you know just have a real conversation and ask how they're doing. What is the mission of the American foundation for Susan Briggs a really simple mission it's only eleven words it's to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. And how do you do that through. Four main ways so the first is funding research. I'm with the largest private funder of suicide prevention research and when we were founded 31 years ago. It was a group of families that. We lost people to suicide that wanted to do something and solve that there was no research being funded and the second is support for Los survivors we have several different programs in that area of helping people who moved. And have lost someone to suicide or the struggle with thoughts of suicide themselves on that's that's a key area another one is education. So we teach people about suicide from everything from. You know basic community level introductions to suicide prevention all the way up to clinical entered you know professional training for clinicians in the fourth area. Is an advocating for public policy change that would save lives from suicide so one you know huge UN and they advocacy space. We have national suicide prevention lifeline which is 1802738255. That's a difficult number to to remember sometimes you know I even IA you know let you eat those of you listening can't see this found that a piece of paper to make sure I got the number right but. One of the things that we advocated for a for the past two years at a federal level was set at work with the FC a death. They're governing bodies and answers to establish a study that would look to make the national suicide prevention lifeline to three or four digit number. Rather than this 1800 number the networks argue there and then president trump. You know signed this'll be you know bill into law that now we're gonna look at what it's gonna take to actually shorten that. Lifeline numbers so that it's easier for people to remember that it's not you know much like 911 ever know or don't know we'll know on one guy. You know this 1800 number can be difficult to remember and so we. And that's some positive things that we've seen from that so far and you know hopefully a couple of years in the future will be able to celebrate when it comes to fruition and we can. Start advertising many number. What kind of research is being done out there in what so what does that research. Showing yeah yes so it we fund research that is related to it. Basically anything you can think of in terms of suicide prevention so it could be. A psychological study in terms of like looking at one of the behaviors that someone might indicate. Are that should -- show that would indicate their risk for suicide or genetic studies. I'm looking at different treatments are interventions that might be available what we've learned a lot from you know suicide prevention research a couple of key things is one. We know that. Nine out of ten people who die by suicide have a mental health conditions contributing at the time of their death. And so we know that if based on that finding that. Getting treatment getting effective treatment for mental health conditions like depression and bipolar can help save lives from suicide. We talk about misconceptions yeah look what are misconceptions and what what misconceptions are out there regarding some shirt you know in this DOD's there. Of course there if for the most part in a sense really because. Suicide and mental health is something that as a culture were just beginning to talk about in so. You know there's there's thought from an outside perspective from people who haven't lost someone to suicide closer than that it's selfish you know. On the selfish of them to take their own life because look what they've left behind and that kind of conversation but what we know for researches that. When someone's in a suicidal crisis their perspective they're thinking becomes so limited. Then other options are completely. Unavailable that. That's there are no other options and oftentimes the person who is. Thinking about suicide under the person that dies by suicide. They have a very. What feels like a genuine belief now it's distorted it's it's the mental illness that's distorting reality in some ways. But that they have a genuine belief that. Did people around them would be better off without the elements of this. That's stigma that perception of you know this is selfish of them in oftentimes couldn't be further from the truth because. This person that dies it. We genuinely believes that those that they're leaving behind and be much better off without them. Another one is that if you want you know make an attempt to take your own life that you're gonna struggle in that way now firmed the rest of your life. It's true that some people it is a risk factor those that cannot make a suicide attempt and and survived and they're higher risk of dying by suicide but most people who survived a suicide attempt to not gone to die by suicide and it's a really exciting thing because. What that attempt does is allows us to intervene with the resources and support and treatments that can help that person. Lead a more fulfilling life that's really encouraging and a and a what about the idea that maybe if I come and talk to you and ask you if you're considering suicide. That plants the seed in your mind and at the assets agree after Sebring and then up and that's that's something that. It was a surprise to me honestly you know what we tell people if you're worried about someone. Is to reach out and it's OK to ask if they're thinking about suicide. We know from research that that's not going to be in a sort of plant the idea and someone's hand if they weren't thinking about it they're not going to be thinking about it. And you know oftentimes people who are struggling. Are looking for a way to tell someone and if you can have a Karen conversation and and asked them in Haiti thinking about suicide. And gives that person an opportunity to maybe say yes I am. And then you can help you know get them to the help that they need you know professionally but also. If someone's not thinking about it and you asked them sock and a plant the idea and it also could help you level third gauge their level of distress. And help in a way that's going to be you know relevant to that situation if you do ask somebody well what reaction to. What can guess what. What should you weeks while not expect but. Yeah who the reactions you get what you what you yeah you know this is there's there's. Level of fear involved US asking someone if they're thinking about suicide or even. You know having a genuine conversation about hey how's it go Monica I'm serious I wanna listen on here what's going on where often afraid. To ask those questions are how those conversations because we don't know what to say but the great thing is you don't have to say anything you just have to listen. You have so. Listen without judging the person. Without offering advice on how on how to fix whatever situation Daryn and just just be there. In a helpful thing to do in that situation. Is even to just repeat what a person says you know because we main. We may get Iran or the person we ask how they're doing or what's going on is everything okay that you might consists of a big monologue or something like that. But they just repeat back what you heard them say helps a Dino kind of build trust to make sure that the person who is kind of pouring their heart out. Knows that the person is listening that they're heard and that they're there to help him you know it's at it can be really effective that. Helping someone who's struggling to get connected to their resources that in all professional come provide. What are some signs that we could be looking up for and are there always science maybe there's not only signs. That's a great question. The signs suite we break down the signs that. Someone might be thinking about suicide and threw in three broad terms and these are in talks of the things that people saying. And their behavior that that people are shown also also moods. So when it comes to talk. We know the most people who die by suicide will say that they're thinking about it and one way or another and so could come off as a joke. On the could say they're not serious but we always say if someone you know says something about killing themselves are feeling. Hope lists are being a burden to others it's important to take that seriously every time. You know the behaviors. That people might display these are typical these are atypical for that person so it's a huge it's a change that is not normal for that person. And so these are things like withdrawing from activities are having difficulty sleeping when previously there wasn't difficulty sleeping. I'm giving away possessions. I go aggressiveness recklessness those kinds of things are all sure signs to reach out and then. You know moods these are things again atypical not normal for a person. That it may be thinking about suicides and anxiety loss of interest irritability and agitation I mean these are all things that. Especially when their uncharacteristic. For people it's a it's a sure sign to reach out you know gone back to behavior one of those behaviors as acting recklessly. You know some people. They just live a little bit reckless you know they drive mass there race motorcycles they do kind of things and some of us have to like that's crazy and so. You know that's normal for that person but someone like me I'm normally pretty reserved and often don't make too. I'm reckless too many reckless decisions and so you know my friends my family my wife they all know that if those things are popping up a fine. Driving fast and doing things that there are way out of the normal for me they know that something's going on and it's a sure sign or reach out may be signs of of partying too much her were drinking and drug Jordanian and using drugs in excess of one and a person normally when that's definitely assigned to reach out and it may not be an indicator that someone's thinking about suicide but it may be an indicator that there. You know self may indicating and then in a way to end dude it's treated mental health condition there will be more effectively treated by a professional. A perk appears little bit to yeah maybe just touch base with that yeah there's urgency has ever have and I've noticed that you're doing these things it's not like to use everything okay. Are there always signs that's a difficult question to answer because. There may always be signs but they may not always be perceived and no the important thing what we hear a lot from people who lose someone to suicide is that I had no idea but then. After. They get involved with suicide prevention they start learning the signs like Powell and I wish I would have seen that and so. You know we want people to me and we encourage everyone to give educated in suicide prevention if you are interested. There are plenty of free programs available through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention through county. Mental health agencies through county suicide prevention coalition's top off firm. Training. And how to spot the warning signs and risk factors are what to do is if you do those. Because there there may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide that we might not see unless we know what to look for and it's kind of the same thing you know whiff. Other causes of death you know we we know that there's certain things you need to look for for someone who might be experiencing a stroke or something like that we know what to do. The only reason we know what to do and what to look for is because we've been top from a young agent. So it's important as soon as sentiments on health that we go out of our way to learn why those signs are those warnings signs risk factors that we can be prepared. To help intervene when that time comes in your life. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has some walks coming up where I am assuming you can walk in and help out and he can also get lots of information let's talk of those little bit. Yeah they're called out of the darkness walks and our goals are you know two fold one of its it's a fundraising walks are raising money so we can fund research into the great programs that we do but it's free for everyone to participate in. And it's a really hopeful and happy event it's family friendly we played positive music com. It it is still a difficult topic but we. Are very intentional about how. We set everything up from their speeches. That we have to the activities that we have they're all hopeful. And we want people to walk away with a sense of hope. Also giving an opportunity to remember the people that we've lost but you know we wanted to take what is a difficult. Conversation a difficult. Situations. You know for a family to lose someone to suicide and turn it into something that. Is hopeful in the future you know and even both of dubbed the walks that we have coming up the October 6 is important and an October 13 the Salem. We're gonna have this four foot sign each letter is for flip by like two and a half or three feet and it spells out the word hope. And we're gonna have people ran on sticky notes a message of hope for someone who might be struggling weren't encouraged to go take command chairman to chairman social media. And so there's things like that that we're gonna do that are not gonna hopefully be. It's make it a very positive experience for people. People need to register ahead of time for the walker that would be good yeah we have online registration it's it's free and then they can find it at AF SP dot org back slash Portland or. AF SP and are back slash Salem all our. Registration is free better of course people can sign up at the walk. You know what I'm with a paper form. Great inning and then balked in Portland was the sixth of October in Salem was thirteen talks correctly and a great so if somebody is. Has a friend or family member whom they may be worried about what person steps they can take two to. Prevent that he had the first thing is to just reach out have a caring conversation again do those things. I'm that I mentioned earlier just listening and reflective listening showing a person that your you you're listening you're not judging them. Avoiding you know advice to fix it and avoiding. Avoid minimizing their feelings because. You know if that's a person is experiencing an episode or about with major depression and you may be happen. You can't know what it feels like and so for us is an outsider to sail well you know just cheer up it's going to be okay that's not really helpful for that person in that time. And and then task directly about suicide if you're thinking about it it's really important but then you know the next steps are. To get them to them some kind of professional help and sometimes it's going to be calling the suicide prevention lifeline it. 1802738255. Or even texting the word talk. To 741741. That can be really helpful. On going into you know like a walking mental health clinic are getting. Getting set up for a visit to a primary care behavioral. And care doctor. But also something that is really important in the situation if a person is thinking about suicide. It's important so think about the environments that that person are and they're that they are that live overwork him. And try to make them as safe as possible so. Things like. May be walking medications up that could become lethal for a time. Home walking firearms up. Whenever you can Farr that time of crisis when someone's thinking about suicide to make. The environment as safe as possible that's really on key strategy in you know most. Mental health professionals can help help you do that. I'm there's also a great thing that wind if you know families and friends can do this on their own but it it it's also helpful to do with in under clinical supervision. Is to basically create an action plan for someone to create to work with them. The person is struggling and a doctor. Again I guess that you can do it on your own but doctors dimensional professionals are great at this but. To come up with the plans that the person is struggling knows who to call what to do where to go win they may be feeling overcome by. A suicidal crisis that atomic can be really helpful. How long is it. And shrimp like we've talked about various times during this interview that everybody's different but does say a suicide crisis is that something that lasts for days weeks months it can vary but they're generally shorter in time so we know. When it comes time to means restrictions that this is. Restricting. Access to something that could become lethal. We know that doing that even for a short period of time and of course it's different forever remembered that can reduce the suicide crisis Sen. You know get people to help and so a lot of times you know with C. And there's sometimes debates about barriers are Nat sound bridges you know to think in their common kind of misconception is that well. If someone went there to do this thing then. They're just gonna go somewhere else or find some other way to do it and the fact of the matter is it's not true that. Something like a bridge to a bit like a barrier on a bridge or have things. You know our time that you can't access something else have become lethal most people won't find another way to harm themselves result. Definitely it's an important it's an important consideration to do it with someone struggling is or even yourself you know to know that. You can get help there's hope available and and maybe you have to be the person who says you know what. At this time I don't wanna have access to this or can you take to keep in my safe or Ken do you you know I'm just gonna put this in your care for awhile because. I'm afraid I might do something to myself and I'm gonna go get help. That's another you know kind of key factor in the same. Give this away from me right now all I'm thinking clearly. In case I do in the future I'm not thinking clearly. What are some ways we can help reduce the stigma of mental health issues you have to just be honest about it you know it's sad to say it. Hey you know I've I've got depression I'm being treated for a far. You know calmed since Tenet is to have those conversations tend to be able to saying and to listen to each other. When things are going well or when we're struggling in enemy just been you know kind of regular data daylight struggles but it could be something different like a mental illness but. To be honest and to be caring when people on come to you with those kinds of things you know there's. We we work with I'm the only staff for the for the foundation in Oregon and Idaho and so. Everything is through volunteers. And so often. Our our volunteers have lost someone also struggle with thoughts of suicide or mental health conditions in the past and it's a it we we've created this great culture where people can say you know while. I'm struggling today so I can't do this thing SN I was continuance we wanna create environments and it's okay to do work where. You know if you're sick with the flu you don't have to tell someone I am sick with the flu have got all these symptoms you just call an insane am sick. It should be the same thing with mental health to say you know I just I need to take this afternoon I'm struggling a little bit lending to go for a walk or something like that. But you know again it's just to talk about it to be honest about it and to get help if he needed because. Treatments are effective and you know one important thing to know is that it it it scares people to get help because they're not sure they maybe don't wanna take medication but. That doesn't always have to be an option for you can talk to your doctor about what treatment is gonna work for you and that's the most important thing to take care your mental health and a healthy way and that is good for you. As we wrap up your looks and also the information coupling information and would send information where people can can you help of the eniac current associate it to people that are struggling in this is also the sole source of people who. Maybe you are worried about someone who's struggling and they can reach out these things to you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1800. 2738255. Text the word talked to 741741. Both of those lines will be able to help calm person in crisis struggling also helped someone who. Is worried about someone to kind of walk through them but of course for emergencies or some loans made a suicide attempts or something like that enemy be a danger to others. None on one is always the best bet for those situations. He is doing great work thank you thank you for having us I'm talking today with Brian Price organ area director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Metro scale fees and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program.