By Anna Bryner
A suicide prevention training was hosted on Wednesday at the Carbon County Events Center. Dr. Gregory Hudnall, the executive director of Hope4Utah, presented information during the free clinic.
Hudnall began by identifying several suicide risk factors. Isolation, acculturation issues, substance-related disorders, bullying, academic performance anxiety, family discord and the loss of a loved one are among some of the most common risk factors for suicide.
“Suicide never occurs outside of the context of major social stressors,” Hudnall stated during the presentation.
Hudnall also identified suicidal warning signs, such as giving away personal possessions, ending close relationships, talking negatively about one’s self, having an overwhelming sense of sadness and guilt, and speaking in a way that reflects hopelessness.
If you suspect someone may be contemplating suicide, Hudnall says that the best thing to do is to speak frankly with that person and directly ask them if they are contemplating suicide. Often people feel that no one is realizing the kind of pain they are dealing with and trying to express, so directly asking them vital questions will help them feel that someone is finally listening and understands them. After asking questions, it is important to determine the risk level of the person and begin appropriate intervention immediately. Intervention begins by ensuring safety (never leaving them alone and making means of suicide inaccessible) and seeking mental health services.
“The key to remember is it’s got to be a community-wide effort,” Hudnall reminded those in attendance about how to successfully implement suicide prevention programs.
The mission of Hope4Utah is “to reduce the number of youth suicides in the state of Utah by providing education, training and expertise in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.” More information can be found at www.hope4utah.com