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Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

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Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

Julie Cerel, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, talks about the rise in youth suicide and tools to help a person in crisis.
S14 E29 Length 26:32 Premiere: 5.19.19

Effective Tools for Youth Suicide Prevention

Suicide isn’t always linked to a diagnosed mental health issue like depression or anxiety. Sometimes it’s the result of a confluence of routine life stressors that can push a person to his or her breaking point.

Some 47,000 Americans take their own lives each year. Young people are especially vulnerable: suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15 to 24.

As KET begins a rebroadcast of its acclaimed youth mental health series You Are Not Alone, Renee Shaw sat down with Julie Cerel, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, to discuss her research into suicide.

Factors Contributing to Higher Suicide Rates
Between 2000 and 2016, the rate of death by suicide in the United States increased 30 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Historically more males commit suicide, but females are catching up: Suicides among women and girls increased by 50 percent in that time period.

“Fortunately most people that make one attempt will never, ever go on to make another one,” says Cerel. “But having had that one attempt, it puts some at higher risk” of dying by suicide in the future.

Cerel says they may be a number of reasons for the increase. One is that health officials are more open about acknowledging suicide as a cause of death.

“It used to be that unless there was really explicit evidence that it was a suicide,” says Cerel, “coroners or medical examiners wouldn’t call it a suicide because they thought it was helping the family.”

Media may also play a role. Cerel says coverage of celebrity suicides, especially stories that contain details of the methods used, can influence suicidal behavior in others. Some mental health professionals also attribute a recent Netflix series to a spike in suicides. Cerel says “13 Reasons Why” offered an unrealistic view of suicide that depicts how a young girl sought to use her own death as a form of revenge against the people who tormented her.

“Unfortunately when most people are suicidal, their thinking is not as systematic and clear, they just want to be out of the pain that they’ve been in,” says Cerel.

Other factors include the rise of the internet and social media, lack of access to quality health care and mental health services, and greater availability of more lethal means of death, such as weapons in the home.

“This isn’t about gun control per se,” says Cerel. “It’s more about not wanting anyone in your household, especially your child, to die by your family’s gun.”

How to Respond to Someone at Risk
The signs that someone may be considering suicide are varied. The person may begin to isolate themselves from friends and loved ones, or they may give away prized possessions. There may be increased drug or alcohol use, or their personal appearance or work or school performance may suddenly decline. They may talk about feeling hopeless or being mired in unbearable pain.

If you see these signs in a family member or friend, a co-worker or a neighbor, Cerel recommends taking a direct approach and saying, “You’ve really been scaring me. Are you thinking about suicide?”

Then you’ll need to be prepared to direct that person towards resources to help them. Cerel recommends keeping the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline emergency number in your cellphone. It’s 800-273-8255. She says operators there can provide referrals to local resources, do short-term crisis counseling, or address an actual emergency. Crisis counselors are also available by texting 741741.

Cerel acknowledges these conversations aren’t easy. Even saying the word suicide is difficult for some people. But the more comfortable we get with the language, the easier it becomes to openly discuss these critical issues, she says. Some communities and organizations offer special training in a prevention strategy named QPR, which stands for question, persuade, and refer, that any individual can take.

Life Beyond a Loss
Based on her own research, Cerel says a single suicide can impact the lives of 135 other people, from relatives and friends, to people at school, church, and work. But Cerel says she’s found that survivors can find ways to move beyond the tragedy.

“For some people, having this worst imaginable loss leads them to place in their lives they never would have been,” says Cerel. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that their life is going to be horrible forever and ever. They can end up in places much better than they might have dreamed.”

Cerel says certain occupations come with greater risk factors for mental health problems and suicide risk. For example, police and other first responders may have to deal with dozens of suicide cases over their careers. Cerel says that kind of exposure can increase the risk of suicidal behavior in the witness.

Following the death of celebrity chef and travel journalist Anthony Bourdain, Cerel and her colleagues launched initiatives to help people in the food service industry. She says the high-stress lifestyle with its irregular hours, little access to health care, and high rates of substance abuse can make restaurant workers especially vulnerable. Cerel contends such outreach efforts are critical to increasing the public dialogue about suicide.

“It’s important for us to talk about the fact that there are people that have thoughts of suicide or have made suicide attempts, and that doesn’t define the rest of their lives,” Cerel says. “People can be successful, having been treated for depression or having attempted suicide… Just because people have mental illnesses, just like physical illnesses, they don’t have to define our lives.”

Related Content:

Suicide Prevention/Teaching Hope

Helping Kentucky’s Youth with Mental Health Problems

Building Effective Programs to Improve Mental Health

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  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
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  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Thrivals 5.0 - S8 E19

  • Tuesday June 30, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 30, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 30, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 30, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Derek Anderson - S8 E18

  • Monday June 29, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 29, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 29, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 29, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 29, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 29, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sam Quinones - S13 E1

  • Sunday July 5, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 5, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday July 4, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday July 4, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 1, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday June 28, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday June 28, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday June 28, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday June 28, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday June 28, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday June 28, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Bianca Spriggs - S8 E16

  • Friday June 26, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday June 26, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday June 26, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday June 26, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Cathy Holloway Hill - S8 E15

  • Thursday June 25, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday June 25, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday June 25, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday June 25, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

M.A.D.E. (Motivating Youth All Day Everyday) - S8 E13

  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Susan Pope - S8 E12

  • Tuesday June 23, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 23, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 23, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 23, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 23, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 23, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Mimi Pickering and Dr. Catherine Fosl - S8 E7

  • Monday June 22, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 22, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 22, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 22, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 22, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 22, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Caregiving - Amy Goyer and Kelly Parsons - S13 E9

  • Sunday June 28, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday June 28, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday June 27, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday June 27, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday June 24, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday June 21, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday June 21, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday June 21, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday June 21, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Terry Brooks - Kentucky Youth Advocates - S13 E37

  • Sunday June 21, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday June 21, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Tara Betts - S8 E6

  • Friday June 19, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday June 19, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday June 19, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday June 19, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday June 19, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday June 19, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

dream hampton - S8 E5

  • Thursday June 18, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday June 18, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday June 18, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday June 18, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday June 18, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday June 18, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Rev. Kimberly Cecil-Jones - S8 E4

  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Poverty in Kentucky - S8 E3

  • Tuesday June 16, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 16, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 16, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 16, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 16, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 16, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Angel Clark and Bianca Spriggs - S8 E2

  • Monday June 15, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 15, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 15, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 15, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 15, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday June 15, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dr. Donna Grigsby - S13 E28

  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday June 17, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Cheryl A. Oldham - S14 E21

  • Saturday June 20, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday June 20, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday June 14, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Shining a Spotlight on Epilepsy - S13 E35

  • Saturday June 13, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday June 13, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Impact 100 - S8 E1

  • Friday June 12, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday June 12, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday June 12, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday June 12, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 14

The 'I Was Here' Project

S14 E36 Length 27:42 Premiere Date 8.4.19

Mike Runyon and Sherita Miller; Wendy Kobler

S14 E35 Length 26:57 Premiere Date 7.28.19

Filmmaker Lynn Novik

S14 E33 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 7.14.19

Brent Hutchinson; Christine Thompson - Education

S14 E32 Length 27:37 Premiere Date 7.7.19

Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton - Youth Mental Health

S14 E31 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 6.2.19

Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

S14 E29 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 5.19.19

Dale Suttles - Sunrise Children's Services

S14 E28 Length 27:33 Premiere Date 5.12.19

Education in Rural Eastern Kentucky

S14 E27 Length 28:13 Premiere Date 5.5.19

Joshua A. Douglas - Voting Rights Reform

S14 E25 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 4.21.19

Jay Box - Ky. Community & Technical College System

S14 E24 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 4.14.19

Author and Life Coach Colene Elridge

S14 E23 Length 26:19 Premiere Date 4.7.19

FIRST STEP Act - Criminal Justice Reform

S14 E22 Length 27:44 Premiere Date 3.31.19

Cheryl A. Oldham

S14 E21 Length 26:38 Premiere Date 2.22.19

Linda Hampton - Early Childhood

S14 E20 Length 29:47 Premiere Date 2.15.19

Donald Mason

S14 E19 Length 26:34 Premiere Date 2.8.19

Community Action Council; First 5 Lex

S14 E18 Length 28:53 Premiere Date 2.1.19

Seamus Carey

S14 E17 Length 26:57 Premiere Date 1.25.19

Michael Benson

S14 E16 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 1.18.19

Dr. Aaron Thompson

S14 E14 Length 28:13 Premiere Date 1.11.19

Mary Todd Lincoln and Lincoln Lexington Walking Tour

S14 E13 Length 28:55 Premiere Date 12.14.18

Youth Suicide

S14 E12 Length 29:22 Premiere Date 12.7.18

Jean Schumm and Amanda Gale

S14 E11 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 11.16.18

M. Christopher Brown II

S14 E10 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 11.9.18

Frank Harris

S14 E9 Length 25:17 Premiere Date 11.2.18

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr

S14 E8 Length 29:16 Premiere Date 10.26.18

Amy McGrath

S14 E7 Length 29:02 Premiere Date 10.19.18

Kevin Chapman - Youth Mental Health

S14 E6 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 10.12.18

Carol Cecil; Resa Gonzalez - Youth Mental Health

S14 E5 Length 26:03 Premiere Date 10.5.18

Joe Bargione - Youth Mental Health

S14 E4 Length 28:57 Premiere Date 9.28.18

WKU President Timothy Caboni

S14 E3 Length 28:40 Premiere Date 9.21.18

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi

S14 E1 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 9.14.18

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