VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Examining Essential Elements Toward Suicide Prevention
Valerie McGaha-Garnett, Jaime Whorton, Julie Brown, Christi Wyatt, Heather Sheffield, Olga Forbes, and Charlee Reeves
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death nationally (Williams & Jackson, 2005) and the third leading cause of adolescent mortality among youth ages 15 to 24 (Lubell & Vetter, 2006). Suicide attempts significantly increase during adolescence, reaching a peak between the ages of 16 and 18 (Miller, Rathus, & Linehan, 2007). A child, who expresses suicidal ideation or has attempted suicide, has a greater likelihood of becoming a first-time attempter or repeat attempter (Park, Mandell, & Lyons, 2009). When examining factors related to suicide in a six-year longitudinal study, Soloff and Chiappetta (2012) found increased prevalence (e.g., 16%) for suicide attempters within the first two years of their study; their two-year, follow-up assessment revealed a decline in suicide attempts for participants. Other factors beyond a previous attempt related to suicidal ideations and actions are impaired decision making (Bridge et al., 2012); feelings of high hopelessness and impulsiveness (Jacobs, Aseltine, Schilling, James, & Glanovsky, 2009). In addition, Chung and Joung (2012) found factors such as depression, gender (e.g., females having higher numbers of suicidal ideations and completions than males), grade level, the use of alcohol and illicit substances, involvement of sexual experiences, and insufficient sleep related to higher rates of suicidal attempts/completion. Of particular interest, non-suicidal self-harm in youth and recent negative life experiences can be strong predictors of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (Fedzyszyn, Robinson, Harris, Paxton, & Francey, 2012). Given support to the fact that most suicidal people communicate their intent sometime during the week preceding their attempt there is an increased need to provide multiple levels of collaborative systems (e.g., school, family, and community programs) towards adolescent life satisfaction.