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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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Infant Nutrition and Breastfeeding - S10 E42

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Andre Taylor - S10 E43

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JoAnne Wheeler Bland - S10 E44

Renee talks with transgender activist JoAnne Wheeler Bland, who in her sixties transitioned from male to female. A practicing attorney for more than 40 years, she is a former Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, former Vice-President of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, current member of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's Committee on Equal Opportunity (the Diversity Committee), and guest speaker at Women's and Gender Studies programs at Kentucky universities.

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Renee's guest is Dr. Gerald Smith, an author and history professor at the University of Kentucky, and co-editor of The Kentucky African-American Encyclopedia: Life and Culture in the Commonwealth. The reference book contains entries on the individuals, events, places, organizations, movements, and institutions that helped shape the state's history and cultural diversity.

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Author Jacinda Townsend discusses her critically acclaimed novel, Saint Monkey, a coming-of-age story set in 1950's Eastern Kentucky. The book won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction. Townsend is a former Hurston-Wright Award finalist and currently teaches creative writing at Indiana University.

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Renee's guest is Ari Berman, a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights and the intersection of money and politics. The title of his new book is Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.

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Miss Kentucky Clark Davis - S11 E10

Renee speaks with Miss Kentucky Clark Davis, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky majoring in vocal performance, with a minor in political science. Davis was diagnosed with dyslexia in elementary school. Her pageant platform is dyslexia awareness.

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Former Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear - S11 E11

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  • Sunday March 29, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 29, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday March 23, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday March 23, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday March 23, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday March 23, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

UK College of Education Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig - S15 E24

  • Saturday March 28, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday March 28, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 25, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday March 25, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday March 25, 2020 6:03 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday March 25, 2020 5:03 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 22, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Diane Follingstad - UK Women's Circle Endowment Chair - S10 E6

  • Friday March 20, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 20, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 20, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 20, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

  • Thursday March 19, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 19, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday March 19, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 19, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley - S10 E3

  • Wednesday March 18, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 18, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 18, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 18, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bloggers on Personal Development - S10 E2

  • Tuesday March 17, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 17, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 17, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 17, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Chris Rabb - S10 E1

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

Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball; McLeod's Coffee House - S15 E23

  • Saturday March 21, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday March 21, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 18, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday March 18, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 15, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

  • Friday March 13, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 13, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 13, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 13, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 13, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 13, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Frontier Nursing University - S9 E45

  • Thursday March 12, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 12, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday March 12, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 12, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence - S9 E44

  • Wednesday March 11, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 11, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 11, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 11, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Marta Miranda - S9 E43

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

Judi Jennings - S9 E42

  • Monday March 9, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday March 9, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday March 9, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday March 9, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Inclusivity in Fashion - Frankie Lewis; RaeShanda Johnson - S15 E13

  • Saturday March 14, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday March 14, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 11, 2020 5:59 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday March 11, 2020 4:59 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday March 8, 2020 4:29 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 8, 2020 3:29 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday March 8, 2020 7:59 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 8, 2020 6:59 am CT on KETKY

Alice Allison Dunnigan - Pioneering Journalist - S15 E9

  • Sunday April 5, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday April 5, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday April 4, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday April 4, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday April 1, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday April 1, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday April 1, 2020 6:16 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday April 1, 2020 5:16 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday April 1, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday April 1, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday March 30, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday March 30, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday March 29, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday March 29, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday March 29, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 29, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday March 29, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday March 29, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET
  • Saturday March 7, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday March 7, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Dr. Robert Hilgers - S9 E41

  • Friday March 6, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 6, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 6, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 6, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Wil James - S9 E40

  • Thursday March 5, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 5, 2020 9:30 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

Explore KET