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De-escalation of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

January 10, 2023

Presented by Scott Fairhurst, PhD

This 2-hour course will address strategies to stabilize vicious cycles that lead to imminent suicide risk.  An organizing model will be presented to illustrate how perceptions of thwarted belongingness and burdensomeness can increase the desire to die.  The model will also illustrate how an acquired capability to commit suicide can lead to more lethal attempts.  Points within the model that present a risk for escalation will be discussed, with attention to risks within the LGBT+ community. Strategies, that can either prevent hospitalization or can provide stabilization while waiting for an ambulance, will be offered for facilitating the client’s de-escalation of their thoughts, emotions, and behavioral agitation.  We will also address the need, especially relevant for younger clients, of facilitating de-escalation of family members, friends, or community members.  Finally, we will acknowledge and provide strategies to maintain the poise and self-regulation that are required by mental health staff during these high-risk and emotionally intense episodes.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call:

National Disaster Distress Helpline:
In distress because of a natural or human-caused disaster?
Call for immediate counseling 24/7 at
1-800-985-5990 Or text TalkWithUs to 66746
(English/Spanish 24/7)

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