I was putting together some materials for our Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force meeting tomorrow and thinking about 2 articles I read yesterday, they do relate (at least somewhat).
I had posted the goals of the Task Force back in March, 2006 on my blog so it was easy to cut and paste the goals to redistribute as a “hard copy” for discussion tomorrow. Two of the comments to that post mention the importance of peer-to-peer intervention (one directly and the other infers). That is where the articles come in.
Taken together I think this lays out a great framework for suicide prevention program for teens. It would begin first with training a cadre of teens to be educators. The education program would begin being presented to other teens in middle school and repeated throughout the remainder of school, possibly into college. It would be a peer-to-peer experience (with adult supervision and input) focusing on competence skills as they apply to suicide and life skills in general. Also the program should work to reduce the stigma of seeking or recommending that someone get help, as well as teaching how to recognize someone in trouble and how to “intervene” effectively. A last significant part would focus on where (and how) to send someone for help and/or where to get it yourself. After a conversation I had today, those already in treatment and/or with significant symptotology would only participate in the program with supervision of their (mental) healthcare provider.