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Life Skills Training

Develop, implement and monitor programs that promote
social and emotional wellness.




Objective A:
Life Skills Training - Increase decision-making, problem-solving, goal-setting, conflict resolution, advocacy, coping, and mindfulness skills for all ages to reduce suicide risk factors.

WHAT VERMONT CAN DO

Individual & Families:

  • Beginning in early childhood, focus on the development of social and emotional skills, build knowledge about the effects of substance abuse, develop culturally competent relationships that respect differences, and teach skills for how to respond to bullying as a by-stander or victim.
  • Talk about and teach how to identify youth who are at-risk of suicide, and emphasize seeking out supportive adults for help.
  • Recognize that everyone needs support in building resiliency skills, and promoting resiliency across the lifespan – including middle-aged adults and elders.

Organizations:
Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses

  • Emphasize life skills development in settings that engage youth, young adults and adults, such as the worksites, senior centers, and places of worship.
  • Support the development of programs and practices that promote resiliency-building skills for families across the lifespan.
  • Emphasize life skills training in multiple settings and use of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services.

Schools, Colleges, Universities:

  • Provide skill-building opportunities in school to reduce risk factors, enhance protective factors, and involve families.
  • Increase the number of institutions of higher education that actively use best practice suicide prevention programs.
  • Continue skill-building workshops in problem solving and coping skills into college and beyond.

Healthcare:

  • Increase the knowledge and skills for suicide prevention of all providers.
  • Directly refer struggling families to community programs that focus on conflict-resolution and coping skills, and promote the existence of such programs to all patients.
  • Include suicide prevention in the pre-training of health and behavioral health care providers, senior network providers and social serving professionals.

Policy and Systems:

  • Connect school-based training with existing state statutes for teaching about health, bullying, harassment, and suicide prevention including the development of individualized learning plans and alternative pathways for learning.

Objective B: Screening for Mental Health Conditions - Research and adopt best practices for screening to identify individuals in need of support or further evaluation and intervention, related to a variety of risk factors, including loss of job, financial problems, substance use, addictions and suicidal ideation.

WHAT VERMONT CAN DO

Individuals & Families:

  • Be open to and supportive of family members
    participating in screenings for depression, other
    mental health conditions, and suicide risk.
  • Learn the risk factors and warning signs of
    suicide risk, and if you see them, encourage
    family and friends to access services where
    they could get screened – such as making an
    appointment with their primary care doctor.

Organizations:
Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses

  • Support identification of suicide risk and
    appropriate referral in a variety of settings.
  • Learn the best practice recommendations for
    screening and referral for your profession or
    organization – workplaces, faith communities,
    and agencies.
  • Assess current efforts and gaps in screening for
    suicide risk in workplace and community
    settings, including senior centers.
    Schools, Colleges, and Universities:
  • Assess current efforts and gaps for screening
    that identifies students at risk for suicide
    across the lifespan.
  • Train staff, faculty and students in how and
    when to refer for screening.

 

Healthcare:

  • Train professional healthcare staff in multiple
    settings across prevention, intervention,
    treatment, and recovery services to recognize
    the importance of identifying suicidality
    as a diagnosis independent of underlying
    conditions, and the importance of addressing
    recent stressors and life events in the
    prevention of suicide.
  • Identify primary care screening tools for
    screening for mental health conditions for all
    age groups.
  • Ensure that clinicians are available to assess
    and treat referred individuals.


Policy and Systems:

  • Develop population-based strategies for
    screening and identifying people at risk
    for suicide.

Objective C: Comprehensive School-Based and Community-wide Programs - Increase knowledge about and strategies to promote positive social and emotional health and wellness, to address the social and emotional issues that lead to depression and substance abuse that are associated with higher suicide risk.

WHAT VERMONT CAN DO

Individuals & Families:

  • Be open to and supportive of family members participating in screenings for depression, other
    mental health conditions, and suicide risk.
  • Learn the risk factors and warning signs of suicide risk, and if you see them, encourage family and friends to access services where they could get screened – such as making an appointment with their primary care doctor.

Organizations:
Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses

  • Support identification of suicide risk and appropriate referral in a variety of settings.
  • Learn the best practice recommendations for screening and referral for your profession or organization – workplaces, faith communities, and agencies.
  • Assess current efforts and gaps in screening for suicide risk in workplace and community settings, including senior centers.
    Schools, Colleges, and Universities:
  • Assess current efforts and gaps for screening that identifies students at risk for suicide across the lifespan.
  • Train staff, faculty and students in how and when to refer for screening.

Healthcare:

  • Train professional healthcare staff in multiple settings across prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services to recognize the importance of identifying suicidality as a diagnosis independent of underlying conditions, and the importance of addressing recent stressors and life events in the prevention of suicide.
  • Identify primary care screening tools forscreening for mental health conditions for all age groups.
  • Ensure that clinicians are available to assess and treat referred individuals.

Policy and Systems:

  • Develop population-based strategies for screening and identifying people at risk for suicide.