The Suicide Prevention Resource Guide was conceived with a goal to find solutions for suicidal individuals and suicide risks in correctional facilities. It provides insights, promising practices, and guidelines for treating at-risk individuals and training the personnel who manage the incarcerated patients.
Jim Martin leads the discussion to provide an overview of the contents of the Suicide Prevention Resource Guide and how it can be useful to corrections facilities. Jim has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement and corrections and is currently the Vice President for Program Development with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).
Specifics of the webinar tackled:
- The solitary nature of suicide and the need for a coordinated and multi-faceted effort to reduce its risk before it becomes a crisis.
- How the Suicide Prevention Resource Guide aims to better identify and help inmates at risk for suicide through assessment, intervention, and training.
- Differentiating screening from assessment by understanding what happens in these, the people involved in each, and its goals.
- Events and specific periods that heighten suicide risks for an incarcerated individual and how the professionals working with them can reduce the risk.
- Traits and experiences of the incarcerated population making them vulnerable to suicide ideation.
- Factors to take into account when putting an inmate to suicide watch to ensure that they remain safe and sane, and the conditions they’re subjected to do not exasperate them further.
- Various resources to serve as starting points in suicide prevention from which policies, standards, and procedures of correctional facilities can be patterned from.
- The importance of confidentiality and privacy in guaranteeing honest answers during screeners and assessments.
- The value of self-care and support for professionals working with incarcerated suicidal patients who are exposed to tragic situations and vicarious traumatization.
- The role of the facilities and its administration in ensuring that support resources and self-care guidance are available and accessible.
- The elements of an effective treatment plan that is arrived upon in collaboration with the patients, is continuing and updated regularly, and is customized based on their needs and risks.
- The training component of suicide prevention with learning objectives that ensure the different disciplines are educated and competent when interacting with and making the decisions for the patients.
- The physical environment factors when constructing or renovating a facility that considers safety and security for both the staff and the patients.
Questions raised during the Q&A segment were about:
- Inmates using suicide for their gains and interests.
- Suicide rate in the incarcerated population.
- The amount of time and the best venue for a mental health professional to effectively interact with a patient.
- Validated assessment tools.
- How past experiences influence antisocial traits and behavior.
- Guidelines specific to juvenile detention centers.
Other Webinars in this Series
- NCCHC and COVID-19: Lessons We’ve Learned in our Facilities
- Aug 5: Suicide Prevention: A NCCHC Resource Guide (this webinar)
- Aug 31: Ahead of the Curve: How Facilities Managed during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Oct 26: Working Together: Health Services and Custody Fostering Better Relationships
Resources and Handouts
- Handout: NCCHC Suicide Prevention Resource Guide
- Handout: NCCHC Suicide Prevention Toolkit
- Handout: NCCHC After Action Report Form
- “Keep up the candid conversations. The honesty and transparency is so appreciated.” — Amanda
- “I didn’t know about the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events or HELPER as assessments of suicidality. I also loved that he connected staff wellness with being able to create safer facilities and promoting connectedness. His statements about the physical AND social environment playing a prominent role in the success of therapeutic interventions was really impactful. Great presentation.” — Amy
- “I am a probation officer and am well aware of our processes, but have often considered how we can more effectively work with especially our local jail. For example, we use custodial sanctions and our clients often see that as a crisis – understandably. This helped me understand more from the incarceration perspective and how we can maybe work together more effectively. thank you!” — Andi
- “It was helpful that he reviewed some assessment tools that are commonly used in correction settings.” — Amanda
- “One of the most valuable things I learned from this webinar is you should always take every threat of suicide seriously!” — Brenda