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Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

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

Program Details

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Renee Shaw speaks with Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County president and CEO P.G. Peeples and former Lexington Herald-Leader columnist and journalist Jacalyn Carfagno who led the effort to document the organization’s success resulting in a release of a 50th anniversary book.

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Renee talks with University of Kentucky professor Dr. Vershawn A. Young (aka Dr. Vay), an expert of the contemporary African American experience, about his latest published work, Other People's English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American Literacy.

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Renee Shaw speaks with University of Louisville alums OJ Oleka and Terrance Sullivan, co-founders of AntiRacism Kentucky, a coalition focused on eliminating institutional racism within state and local government policy.

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Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker - S9 E21

Frank X Walker, named Kentucky's 2013-14 poet laureate, talks about his latest collection, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, and other works and projects.

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50th Anniversary of the March on Frankfort - S9 E22

Renee discusses the 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1964 March on Frankfort with historians and participants including: NAACP Louisville leader Raoul Cunningham and former state Senator Georgia Davis Powers.

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Aaron Thompson - S9 E26

Aaron Thompson, executive vice president and chief academic officer of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, discusses the state budget for higher education and the impact on student tuition.

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MaryLee Underwoood and Chastity Ross - CCDD - S9 E27

MaryLee Underwoood and Chastity Ross with the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities (CCDD) discuss recent legislation to protect vulnerable adults against abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

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Dr. Janet Taylor - S9 E29

Renee speaks with Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, certified life coach, and national commentator on work-life balance and mental health issues.

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Djuan Trent - S9 E30

Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent talks about her decision come out as a gay woman, reaction from family and friends, her activism in advancing gay rights and marriage, and more.

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Hasan Davis - S9 E31

Renee speaks with former Kentucky Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Hasan Davis, about recent juvenile justice reform. Davis was featured in the recent PBS Frontline program "Prison State," about Kentucky's correction system, and interviewed for KET's follow-up program, Prison State: A Kentucky Community Conversation.

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Prison Reform In Kentucky - S9 E32

Renee continues the discussion about Kentucky prison reform recently highlighted on the PBS Frontline program "Prison State." Her guests are: Mark Bolton, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections; Sheila Schuster, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and mental health advocate; and Ray Larson, Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney.

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Ted Strader - COPES - S9 E33

Ted Strader, the director of the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances, Inc. (COPES) in Louisville, discusses how partnering agencies with the corrections system can help former inmates with successful re-entry into society.

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Colene Elridge - S9 E34

Renee speaks with human resources professional and life coach Colene Elridge, better known as Coach Colene, owner of Be More Consulting.

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Rape Culture - S9 E35

Renee's guests are Mae Suramek, executive director of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center and Rus Funk, executive director of MensWork- Eliminating Violence Against Women.

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Mental Health Courts - S9 E36

Kelly Gunning, director of advocacy and public policy, NAMI Lexington (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and Public Defender Jon Landon, discuss mental health laws in Kentucky.

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Dr. Timothy M. Houchin - S9 E37

Renee speaks with Lexington psychiatrist Dr. Timothy M. Houchin about attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Houchin is a board-certified adult, child/adolescent, and forensic psychiatrist, and the founder and president of 360 Mental Health Services in Lexington.

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Renee speaks with Dr. Charisse Gillett, president of the Lexington Theological Seminary. Dr. Gillett is the first woman and first African-American selected to lead the seminary.

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African Americans and Mental Health - S9 E39

Renee speaks with Sycarah Fisher, associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, and Shambra Mulder, an assistant professor in the School of Education at Kentucky State University.

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Dr. Robert Hilgers - S9 E41

Renee speaks with Dr. Robert Hilgers, founder and president of the Global Women's Cancer Alliance (WGCA). The WGCA works to advance women's health, addressing particularly those in need of cancer care in developing countries.

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Judi Jennings - S9 E42

Renee's guest is Judi Jennings, former executive director of the Kentucky Foundation for Women, feminist art advocate, and writer.

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Food Security (Part 2) - S8 E39

  • Friday January 8, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 8, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 8, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 8, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Food Security - S8 E38

  • Thursday January 7, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 7, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 7, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 7, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Shevawn Akers - S8 E37

  • Wednesday January 6, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 6, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 6, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 6, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dana Branham - S8 E36

  • Tuesday January 5, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 5, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 5, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 5, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Frank Minnifield - S8 E35

  • Monday January 4, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 4, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 4, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 4, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 4, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 4, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Beth Howard and Michael Harrington; Devine Carama

  • Sunday January 3, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday January 2, 2021 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 2, 2021 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 30, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 30, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday December 30, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 30, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Jakobi Williams - S8 E34

  • Friday January 1, 2021 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 1, 2021 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 1, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 1, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 1, 2021 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 1, 2021 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Beth Dotson Brown - S8 E31

  • Thursday December 31, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 31, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday December 31, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 31, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday December 31, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday December 31, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Lexington Artists - S8 E28

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

Byron Hurt - S8 E25

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

Janet Steele Holloway - S8 E24

  • Monday December 28, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 28, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday December 28, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 28, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday December 28, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday December 28, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Caroline Randall Williams

  • Sunday December 27, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday December 26, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday December 26, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday December 23, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 23, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday December 23, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday December 23, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET

Jane Beshear - S8 E21

  • Friday December 25, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 25, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 25, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 25, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 25, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 25, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Alexandra Bradner - S8 E20

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

Thrivals 5.0 - S8 E19

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

Derek Anderson - S8 E18

  • Tuesday December 22, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday December 22, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 14 Episodes

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 Novick

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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