Suicide Prevention Program Components

Suicide Prevention Program Components

Week 10: Mentally III Offenders and Suicide Prevention
Introduction
One of the most famous criminal cases involving a mentally ill offender is the case of John Hinckley. In 1981, Hinckley shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan. During the course of his trial, it became apparent that Hinckley was mentally ill and suffered from significant delusions. According to the official court records, Hinckley shot President Reagan after deciding that it would capture the attention of an actress with whom he had an obsessive attraction. The court determined that Hinckley was not guilty by reason of insanity and civilly committed him to a psychiatric institution for treatment. While this case of a mentally ill offender drew media attention, the vast majority of mentally ill offenders do not command such attention. Therefore, mentally ill offenders do not always receive the treatment they need.
On a different note, another important function of forensic treatment practitioners involves suicide risk management in the forensic setting. Not only does this function require responding to actual reports of suicide ideation, but it also involves training staff and inmates on how to recognize risk, respond to suicide attempts, and cope with lethal instances of suicide.
This week you explore treatment approaches and challenges for mentally ill offenders as well as examine suicide risk management in forensic treatment settings.
Objectives
Students will:
? Evaluate components of suicide prevention and intervention approaches and programs
? Analyze treatment approaches for the treatment of mentally ill offenders

Required
? Hanser, R. D., Mire, S. M., & Braddock, A. (2011). Correctional counseling. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
o Chapter 13, “HIV/AIDS, Older Offenders, Dying/Grief/Mourning, and Suicide Issues” (pp. 330?361)
? Daigle, M. S., Daniel, A. E., Dear, G. E., Frottier, P., Hayes, L. M., et al. (2007). Preventing suicide in prisons, part II: International comparisons of suicide prevention services in correctional facilities.Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 28(3), 122?130.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
? Magaletta, P. R., Wheat, B., Patry, M. W., & Bates, J. (2008). Prison inmate characteristics and suicide attempt lethality: An exploratory study. Psychological Services, 5(4), 351?361.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
? Document: Case Studies (PDF)
Use these case studies to support this week’s Discussion.
Suicide Prevention Program Components
In every forensic treatment setting, the forensic psychology professional must be aware of the role that suicide prevention plays in the larger system inside and outside forensic institutions. Both incarcerated offenders and individuals awaiting sentencing pose potential suicide risks. In addition, offenders on probation or parole may exhibit an increased risk of self-harm. Often, suicide risk is increased in the forensic setting because of factors ranging from shame and guilt to mental illness or fear. Suicide prevention is one of the most critical functions that a forensic treatment practitioner has in any forensic treatment setting.
Even though staff members in jails and prisons work hard at reducing suicides, people still choose to end their lives when they are in forensic treatment settings. Although some of these individuals suffer from pre-existing mental health conditions, many do not. Forensic treatment practitioners should be leaders and advocates for suicide prevention efforts in their forensic settings. In addition to basic policy knowledge, the savvy forensic psychology professional needs to be aware of local, state, and national efforts to reduce the instances of attempted and completed suicides in forensic treatment settings.
To prepare for this Discussion:
? Think about the components of suicide prevention and intervention approaches and programs. Consider the efficacy of these approaches and programs. Reflect on which of these components are important in forensic treatment settings.
? Select two components of suicide prevention and intervention approaches and programs that you think are important in forensic treatment settings, and consider why.
With these thoughts in mind:
Write a brief description of two components of suicide prevention and intervention approaches and programs that you think are important in forensic treatment settings, and explain why you think they are important.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.

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