Suicide Prevention Training Provides Signs and Risk Factors for Suicide

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The University of West Georgia held a free suicide prevention training session on Tuesday to provide attendees with the warning signs and risk factors for suicide. The training was a collaborative event between the Counseling and Career Development Center and the College of Education Department of Clinical and Professional Studies under the PREVENT@UWG Mental Health Outreach Program.

“No age group is outside of risks for suicide,” said Dr. Julia Whisenhunt, training presenter and assistant professor of Counseling Education and College Student Affairs.

According to the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide, suicide is a leading cause of death among youth attending colleges and universities in the United States, and UWG is aiming to change that by bringing awareness and providing prevention tips to UWG and the community.

Whisenhunt provided several warning signs of suicide, and also shared examples of demographic risk factors, biopsychosocial risk factors and environmental risk factors that are associated with the increase in suicide attempts.

Dr. Donjanea Williams, training presenter and assistant director for outreach and programming for UWG’s Counseling and Career Development Center, encouraged attendees to use social media as a way to watch for any signs of suicidal thoughts through posts and photos on sites like facebook, twitter and instagram.

Those in attendance were also able to view a video of singer and songwriter Mary J. Blige as she discussed suicidal thoughts and recovery process. The training concluded with an in depth question and answer session.

Presenters provided a folder containing a list of treatment resources on UWG’s campus when dealing with depression and other mental health concerns. Suggested resources included, but were not limited to, health services, student organizations and advocacy groups and an array of crisis centers and hotlines.

For more information or resources on getting assistance, visit westga.edu/prevent/.