Often what we see in the media regarding suicide is a heavy focus on handling grief and the effect on those left behind. However, in some instances, we are beginning to see a shift from the focus on the recovery from a tragedy to one’s prevention.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline promotes the unity among mental health advocates, prevention organizers, survivors, allies, and the community in promoting suicide prevention awareness.
According to the Jason Foundation, four out of five teens display warning signs before they attempt suicide. Act 770 of 2011, often referred to as the Jason Flatt Act, is a law that requires two hours of mandatory in-service professional development once every five years for licensed personnel in teen suicide awareness and prevention. ArkansasIDEAS currently houses eight courses that meet the requirements of the act and some of which are available to the public on ideas.aetn.org/resources (*):
Suicide Prevention - Looking Deeper is our most current production created to meet the requirements for Act 770 of 2011. Soon after the course was opened to educators in June of 2019, the video resources were opened to the public.
Shawna Burns, LPC-S, LADAC-CS is the founder of Seed Digging Wellness Center, and the presenter for this production. Ms. Burns brings an insightful perspective to suicide prevention and strives to provide education on the seeds of trauma, and how they often were planted long before teens come to the place of choosing suicide.
In these resources, you’ll see Ms. Burns’ love for students shine through as she shares personal stories and case studies that show the connections between those trauma seeds, student behaviors, and the innate needs within all of us. Burns discusses the importance of recognizing suicide warning signs, being aware of risk factors, and having a plan for prevention. She also shares strategies for creating a safe and secure environment for students that speaks to the innate needs that are so often at the root of suicide.
If you would like to know more about the warning signs and risk factors for suicide or view these or any of the other video resources, check out ideas.aetn.org.