Assignment: Culture and Suicide
Assignment: Culture and Suicide
Assignment: Culture and Suicide
Assignment: Culture and Suicide
After reading The Cultural Meaning of Suicide: What Does That Mean?, write a paper of 500-750 words on suicide in which you address the following questions:
What did you think of the article? How did the article relate to topics presented in the textbook?
What interesting questions did the article raise for you?
Identify the common predictors of suicide, treatments, and prevention programs
Define suicide in your own words and describe how suicide is viewed in other cultures.
Use the GCU Library databases, include a minimum of two outside references or other resources to highlight and support your viewpoint.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. Please refer to the directions in the Student Success Center.
This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competency: 3.6 Assess psychological practices using a culturally sensitive worldview.
MUST PASS TURN IT IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
t is suicide and suicidal behavior?
Suicide is the act of taking ones own life. According to the , suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of approximately 47,000 Americans each year.
Suicidal behavior refers to talking about or taking actions related to ending ones own life. Suicidal and behaviors should be considered a psychiatric emergency.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting either, you should seek immediate assistance from a healthcare provider.
Warning signs that someone may attempt suicide
You cant see what a person is feeling on the inside, so it isnt always easy to identify when someone is having . However, some outward warning signs that a person may be contemplating suicide include:
talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, or alone
saying they have no reason to go on living
making a will or giving away personal possessions
searching for a means of doing personal harm, such as buying a gun
sleeping too much or too little
eating too little or eating too much, resulting in significant weight gain or loss
engaging in reckless behaviors, including excessive alcohol or drug consumption
avoiding social interactions with others
expressing rage or intentions to seek revenge
showing signs of extreme anxiousness or agitation
having dramatic mood swings
talking about suicide as a way out
It can feel scary, but taking action and getting someone the help they need may help prevent a suicide attempt or death.
How to talk to someone who is feeling suicidal
If you suspect that a family member or friend may be considering suicide, talk to them about your concerns. You can begin the conversation by asking questions in a non-judgmental and non-confrontational way.
Talk openly and dont be afraid to ask direct questions, such as Are you thinking about suicide?
During the conversation, make sure you:
stay calm and speak in a reassuring tone
acknowledge that their feelings are legitimate
offer support and encouragement
tell them that help is available and that they can feel better with treatment
Make sure not to minimize their problems or attempts at shaming them into changing their mind. Listening and showing your support is the best way to help them. You can also encourage them to seek help from a professional.
Offer to help them find a healthcare provider, make a phone call, or go with them to their first appointment.
It can be frightening when someone you care about shows suicidal signs. But its critical to take action if youre in a position to help. Starting a conversation to try to help save a life is a risk worth taking.
If youre concerned and dont know what to do, you can get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline.
If you live in the United States, try the at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). They have trained counselors available 24/7. is another helpful resource.
and the are two organizations that provide contact information for crisis centers outside of the United States.
In cases of imminent danger
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), if you notice someone doing any of the following, they should get care immediately:
putting their affairs in order or giving away their possessions
saying goodbyes to friends and family
having a mood shift from despair to calm
planning, looking to buy, steal, or borrow the tools to complete a suicide, such as a firearm or medication
If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm:
Call 911 or your local emergency number.
Stay with the person until help arrives.
Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
Listen, but dont judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
What increases the risk of suicide?
Theres usually no single reason someone decides to take their own life. Several factors can increase the risk of suicide, such as having a mental health disorder.
But of all people who die by suicide dont have a known mental illness at the time of their death.
is the top mental health risk factor, but others include , , , and .
Aside from mental health conditions, other factors that increase the risk of suicide include:
poor job security or low levels of job satisfaction
history of being abused or witnessing continuous abuse
being diagnosed with a serious medical condition, such as cancer or HIV
being socially isolated or a victim of bullying or harassment
substance use disorder
childhood abuse or trauma
family history of suicide
previous suicide attempts
having a chronic disease
social loss, such as the loss of a significant relationship
loss of a job
access to lethal means, including firearms and drugs
being exposed to suicide
difficulty seeking help or support
lack of access to mental health or substance use treatment
following belief systems that accept suicide as a solution to personal problems
Those who have been shown to be at a higher risk for suicide are:
people over age 45
Caucasians, American Indians, or Alaskan Natives
Assessing people who are at risk for suicide
A healthcare provider may be able to determine whether someone is at high risk for suicide based on their symptoms, personal history, and family history.
They will want to know when symptoms started and how often the person experiences them. Theyll also ask about any past or current medical problems and about certain conditions that may run in the family.
This can help them determine possible explanations for symptoms and which tests or other professionals might be needed to make a diagnosis. They will likely make assessments of the persons:
Mental health. In many cases, thoughts of suicide are caused by an underlying mental health disorder, such as depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. If a mental health issue is suspected, the person will likely be referred to a mental health professional.
Substance use. Misusing alcohol or often contributes to suicidal thoughts and behavior. If substance use is an underlying problem, an alcohol or drug addiction may be the first step.
Medications. The use of certain prescription drugs including antidepressants may also increase the risk of suicide. A healthcare provider can review any medications the person is currently taking to see if they could be contributing factors.
Treatment for people who are at risk for suicide
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of someones suicidal thoughts and behavior. In many cases, though, treatment consists of talk therapy and medication.
Talk therapy, also known as , is one possible treatment method for lowering your risk of attempting suicide. is a form of talk therapy thats often used for people who are having thoughts of suicide.
Its purpose is to teach you how to work through stressful life events and emotions that may be contributing to your suicidal thoughts and behavior. CBT can also help you replace negative beliefs with positive ones and regain a sense of satisfaction and control in your life.
A similar technique, called , may also be used.
If talk therapy isnt enough to successfully lower risk, medication may be prescribed to ease symptoms, such as depression and anxiety. Treating these symptoms can help reduce or eliminate suicidal thoughts.
One or more of the following types of medication could be prescribed:
In addition to talk therapy and medication, suicide risk can sometimes be reduced by simply adopting certain healthy habits. These include:
Avoiding alcohol and drugs. Staying away from alcohol and drugs is critical, as these substances can lower inhibitions and may increase the risk for suicide.
Exercising regularly. Exercising at least three times per week, especially outdoors and in moderate sunlight, can also help. Physical activity stimulates the production of certain brain chemicals that .
Sleeping well. Its also important to get enough quality sleep. Poor sleep can make many mental health symptoms much worse. Talk to your healthcare provider if youre having trouble sleeping.
How to prevent suicidal thoughts
If youve had suicidal thoughts or feelings, dont be ashamed and dont keep it to yourself. While some people have suicidal thoughts without any intention of ever acting on them, its still important to take some action.
To help prevent these thoughts from recurring, there are several things you can do.
Talk to someone
You should never try to manage suicidal feelings entirely on your own. Getting professional help and support from loved ones can make it easier to overcome any challenges that are causing these feelings.
Many organizations and support groups can help you cope with suicidal thoughts and recognize that suicide isnt the best way to deal with stressful life events. The is a great resource.
Take medications as directed
You should never change your dosage or stop taking your medications unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so. Suicidal feelings may recur and you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking your medications.
If youre having unwanted side effects from the medication youre currently taking, speak with your provider about switching to another one.
Never skip an appointment
Its important to keep all your therapy sessions and other appointments. Sticking with your treatment plan is the best way to deal with suicidal thoughts and behavior.
Pay attention to warning signs
Work with your healthcare provider or therapist to learn about the possible triggers for your suicidal feelings. This will help you recognize the signs of danger early on and decide what steps to take ahead of time.
It can also help to tell family members and friends about the warning signs so they can know when you may need help.
Eliminate access to lethal methods of suicide
Get rid of any firearms, knives, or serious medications if you worry that you might act on suicidal thoughts.
Suicide prevention resources
The following resources provide trained counselors and information about suicide prevention:
: Call 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
: The Lifeline Chat connects individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat, 24/7 across the United States.
: Text HOME to 741741. The Crisis Text Line is a free text messaging resource offering 24/7 support to anyone in crisis.
: Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). SAMHSAs helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental health or substance use disorders.
and the : These are two organizations that provide contact information for crisis centers outside of the United States.
Today, many organizations and people are working hard on suicide prevention, and there are more available than ever. No one should have to deal with suicidal thoughts alone.
Whether youre a loved one whos concerned about someone or youre struggling yourself, help is available. Dont keep silent you may help save a life.
Medically reviewed by on April 30, 2019 Written by April Kahn