Understanding and Working with Suicidal People
Aims and Objectives
Working with a client who is presenting with suicidal thoughts and feelings – especially when also expressing intent to carry it out - can feel overwhelming. It may be difficult to know how to react, and it may leave us holding unwelcome emotions, such as fear, worry or distress. Having an understanding of what is going on for the individual, as well as us having a better understanding of what we could say and do, can leave us feeling less afraid and in a better position to help.
The workshop will cover the following:
Enable a better understanding of suicide and associated thoughts, feelings and behaviour, including:
- Defining suicide
- Understanding the reality: what might lead people to consider suicide as an option for themselves?
- Risk factors / Assessing risks
Supporting Our Self
- What particular issues arise for us when working with a suicidal client?
- How might we work with our organisation to ensure we are best supported? / How can we support our self if we are independent practitioners?
Working with a client presenting as suicidal
- For example: How might we interact with our client? What tools and techniques could we use?
- Case study reviews
Safeguarding and ethical considerations
- Management of risks and statutory obligations. For example, when might we need to break confidentiality? (this would also depend on our organisation’s policy and procedures, or if we work in private practice, etc)
- What ethical considerations might there be when working with a suicidal client?
The workshop will incorporate a PowerPoint presentation and will also include group work, discussion and videos. It includes a complimentary workbook, which follows the work of the day. It is designed to be transferable wherever you may work, and can act as a revision tool in the future. The day will allow us to share experiences and ideas, and support each other around working with this very difficult situation.
Linda Hardy. I moved to the SE in my early 20s, mainly living and working in London for a homelessness charity. This included working with street homeless clients and supporting people with acute and chronic mental ill health to live independently. Before living and working in London, I lived in Brighton, graduating from the University of Sussex with a degree in Politics with Development Studies in 1997. I returned to university later in life, and graduated with a Master’s in Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Albert Ellis’s CBT) from the University of London in 2011. Then I worked part-time for 4 years as a Senior Counsellor for a Carer's and Bereavement service in South London, as well as being a volunteer counsellor within a drug and alcohol recovery service for 2 years. Whilst working for the bereavement/Carer’s service, supervision was under a Humanistic framework. I also continued to work within the homelessness sector, and was a senior specialist worker within a street homelessness outreach service. During this time, I researched, wrote and presented workshops to a variety of teams, including ‘Helping Clients to utilise CBT tools and techniques in everyday life’ and ‘Working with Suicidal People’. These have been presented to a variety of groups, including counselling professionals and social support workers. It is with pleasure that I bring this (newly updated) workshop to you now.
Date: Saturday 16th November 2019 Time: 10am - 4.30pm
Venue: Wallace House 3 Boswall Road Edinburgh EH5 3RJ