Troubling statistics indicate that death by suicide is rising at an alarming rate and increasingly impacting racial/ethnic minorities. Half of those who died by suicide received health care services in the year prior to their death and half of these received services within 4 weeks of their death. For over three-quarters (76 %) of those patients, fewer than one-quarter (24 %) had a mental health diagnosis. In communities of color, cultural factors combined with race-related stressors known to negatively impact mental health present special challenges.
Well trained community members can save lives. They do so by recognizing and appropriately responding when a person is in crisis, (recognizing that cultural expressions of distress vary) and through providing culturally tailored assessment, education, and intervention about suicide for the communities they are entrusted to serve. CHI offers suicide prevention workshops that are for the general population and specifically for community health workers.
The CHW Role in Suicide Prevention (4-Hrs) While CHWs are uniquely situated to help in suicide prevention efforts, they remain a largely untapped resource in supporting community members who are at a heightened risk for taking their own lives or self-injurious behaviors.This workshop will describe the Center for Health Impact’s efforts to integrate evidence-based and evidence-informed suicide prevention interventions into CHW training and community-focused education. Participants will learn specific and practical ways to incorporate suicide prevention into CHW work. We will demonstrate useful tools which are inclusive to widely diverse cultural groups and shine a light on the race-related stressors known to negatively affect the mental health of community members, including the CHWs themselves.
Mental Health First Aid (8-hrs) teaches skills for providing initial help to people experiencing mental health problems such as, anxiety disorders, psychosis and substance use disorder. Participants learn how to appropriately respond when someone appears to be at risk for suicide or self-injury. Training participants who successfully complete the program will receive MHFA certification from the National Council For Behavioral Health.