Last week I had the privilege of doing a Wiley Faculty Network Webinar on Teaching Suicide Assessment to graduate students in counseling and psychology. It was a first webinar experience for me and I have a few reflections and a suicide myth quiz from the webinar.
Observation #1: When doing Webinars, keep your eyes on your content (and not the “news feed” with names of friends and colleagues making interesting comments). If you watch the comments you will sound dull and slow – sort of like people sound when they’re talking to you on the phone while watching an engaging television show or surfing the internet.
Observation #2: There are lots of faculty and graduate students out there who want to do their best to help others through suicidal crises. This is very cool. I am always a little verklempt (sp) about how many kind and helpful people there are out there in the world.
Now . . . here’s the suicide quiz. Let’s see how you do. Answer the following True or False. The answers are at the bottom.
- Suicide rates are typically highest in rainy and cloudy climates, like Seattle, the Northeast, and the United Kingdom.
- Suicide rates are typically highest in the Winter months, especially around the holidays.
- Antidepressant medications (i.e., SSRIs like prozac and celexa) can REDUCE a client’s suicidal impulses.
- Antidepressant medications (i.e., SSRIs like prozac and celexa) can INCREASE a client’s suicidal impulses.
- Suicide rates in the U.S. are usually higher than homicide rates.
- The most common means of suicide among females is firearms.
- False. In the U.S., every year the highest rates are nearly always in Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, and Nevada – and the lowest rates are in the cloudy Northeast
- False: U.S. Suicide rates are nearly always highest in the Spring (April and May, in particular; Mondays have highest rates and Saturdays lowest and, surprisingly, December has the lowest rates).
- True: Yes, there is evidence that antidepressant medications can REDUCE a client’s suicidal impulses.
- True: Yes, there is evidence that antidepressant medications can INCREASE and even CREATE suicidal impulses. [Increased akathisia and violent thoughts]
- True: U.S. Suicide rates (about 30K per year) are typically higher than U.S. homicide rates (about 20K per year).
- True: Firearms constitute the most common method for completed suicides for both females and males.