Increasing numbers of people in different walks of life and professional roles are being confronted with the need to help others who are contemplating or attempting suicide as awareness and understanding of depression and suicide is growing. Friends, family members, teachers, and mental health and health care professionals are among the many people who are concerned about how they can prevent the suicide of someone they know.
Your relationship to a person who may be suicidal affects how you can most effectively help that person. To respond to this need, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) recently launched a series of prevention Web pages geared for specific audiences. For each audience there is a separate page that contains information specific to their needs in recognizing and responding to warning signs, and includes the most relevant resources on suicide prevention, such as programs, Web sites, and further reading.
“We know that there is great demand for specific information tailored to different audiences,” says Anara Guard, Associate Center Director for SPRC. “It is our hope that these web pages will provide people in many different roles with useful and informative ways to help their friends, relatives, clients, and colleagues who are in crisis.”
Currently, there are pages for 13 different groups, including college students, physicians, teachers, and law enforcement officers. Because the most appropriate response for different types of helping professionals depends on their specialty, separate pages have been written for physicians, nurses, first responders (e.g., EMTs), alcohol and other drug counselors, school health care providers, social workers/mental health counselors, and clergy. There is also a special page for people who have survived the suicide of someone close to them to help them cope better.
SPRC has already received feedback from readers on the value of these web pages. “This is great information,” said a reader from a state department of education. The director of a crisis hotline wrote, “The audience pages are a wonderful addition to your Web site!”
Each audience page is available as a PDF document. These pages can be freely reproduced and distributed as long as the SPRC is credited and the Web site address is included. “Then return for more visits,” says Guard, “since we will be adding many more audience sections in the coming months, including information for family members, geriatric specialists, and people who have survived their own suicide attempt.”
Originally published on June 1, 2005