Prevent Suicide Wisconsin 2021 Session Keynote: Introducing the “Alternatives to Suicide” Approach: Paradigm Shifts for a New Era (Password: PSW2021!)
Source: Prevent Suicide Wisconsin 2021
Resource Type: Video or Multimedia
Focus Population: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), LGBTQIA+ People, Peers, People experiencing Homelessness, People experiencing Suicidal Urges, People who have experienced Trauma, People with Serious Mental Illness (SMI)
Topics: Crisis Response System, Culturally Specific Strengths and Resilience, Peer Support, Psychiatric or Mental Health Stabilization, Recovery from Mental Health or Substance Use Disorders, Rural Services, Self-help/Emotional Regulation, Suicide Postvention, Suicide Prevention, Trauma-informed
Many of us have devoted our lives to the shared goal of reducing the loss of our community members to suicide. We have felt the grief when protocols designed to predict, diagnose or control behavior have continually failed to achieve the life-sustaining communities that we dream about. We have witnessed in frustration the steadily rising suicide rates despite huge financial investments in suicide prevention efforts. There is now an international movement building to re-envision the tools and intentions we bring to dialogue about suicide. Join Caroline Mazel-Carlton as she shares how her experiences as a psychiatric patient and as peer worker in the public and private mental health sector have informed her work with developing the “Alternatives to Suicide” approach. Since 2009, folks with lived experience of psychiatric treatment for suicide in Western Massachusetts have partnered with the harm reduction and social justice communities to develop new supports. These efforts began with “Alternatives to Suicide” groups co-facilitated by individuals with lived experience of navigating suicidal thoughts or attempts. In these settings, participants could voice and explore thoughts of suicide in an environment where clinical risk assessments, pathologizing language and non-consensual treatment protocols were absent. As these dialogues occurred, new ways to respond and support naturally developed in the space created by letting go of conventional paradigms. The resulting VCVC model (Validation-Curiosity-Vulnerability-Community) is now utilized in diverse environments throughout the world by individuals in various roles.
• Be familiarized with the history of the “Alternatives to Suicide” approach and the conditions that allowed new responses to suicide to take root.
• Be able to identify at least three alternatives to conventional risk assessment protocols to better understand and connect with those considering suicide
• Be familiarized with three paradigmatic value shifts the characterize the “Alternatives to Suicide” approach