Increased stress and anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, a history of trauma, and lack of social support can all put adolescents at increased risk for suicide.

Increased stress and anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, a history of trauma, and lack of
social support can all put adolescents at increased risk for suicide. These are largely
internal risk factors, hidden from others. How might they manifest as warning signs
observable by others? Social workers—particularly those in schools—are poised to notice
these warning signs.

For this Discussion, you consider observable actions or demeanors that indicate suicidal
ideation in adolescents. First, you watch a video of Stephanie Parker, who is an adult
talking about her experience attempting suicide as a teen. Then, you imagine how you
would have responded to Stephanie as the school social worker at the time.

Watch the Parker Family video in the Learning Resources, paying particular attention to
Stephanie’s disclosure of suicidal behavior when she was an adolescent.

Assignment below:

Response to the following:

After learning about Stephanie, imagine that you had been the school social worker at the
time of her suicidal ideation. Which indicators would you have looked for in Stephanie and
why?

How would you have responded to each of those indicators? What kinds of questions
would you have asked her and why?

Watch the Parker Family video/ Description of the parker video below.

FEMALE SPEAKER: I want to take care of her.

00:03- I really do.

00:05- I mean, she’s my mom, and she’s not getting any younger.

00:07- But I deserve my own life, my own place.

00:11- And I’m always tired of feeling like I’m suffocating

00:13 -all the time.

00:15- It’s just–

00:16- It’s so confusing.

00:19- I love her, you know?

00:31 -FEMALE SPEAKER: I understand that you want a place of your

00:33 -own to live.

00:35 -You mentioned before that you and your mother argue a lot.

00:38-FEMALE SPEAKER: A lot?

00:39-How about all the time?

00:40-And all that stuff she hoards, it’s just like,

00:44- I’m drowning in it.

00:45-It’s like there’s more room for her junk than

00:48-there is for us.

00:50-It just drives me crazy.

00:53-Right to the hospital sometimes.

00:55-FEMALE SPEAKER: How many times have you been hospitalized?

00:58-FEMALE SPEAKER: Let’s see.

01:00-Three times in four years.

01:05-I think I mentioned to you that I’m bipolar, and I’m

01:09-lousy dealing with stress.

01:13-Oh.

01:15-Wait, um, there was another time that

01:17-I was in the hospital.

01:21-I tried to commit suicide.

01:24-I guess I was pretty lousy at that too, otherwise

01:26-I wouldn’t be here.

01:29-FEMALE SPEAKER: What made you want to do it?

01:31-I was a teenager.

01:32-And when you’re a teenager, you find a reason every day to

01:36-try to kill yourself, right?

01:41-I was–

01:43-I was depressed.

01:47-I remember one night I went out with some of my friends.

01:50-And, um, they were all looking up at the sky and talking

01:55- about how pretty the stars were.

01:58- And all I could think about was that that sky was nothing

02:01-more than a black eye.

02:05-It was lifeless, and it could care less about any of us.

02:14-When they finally let me go home from the

02:16-hospital, my family–

02:19-wow–

02:20-what a trip it was.

02:24-They didn’t want to talk about what I had tried to do.

02:26-That was off-limits.

02:28-I tried to kill myself.

02:31-And I they acted like nothing ever happened.

02:38-I’ve never told anybody that before.

02:43-FEMALE SPEAKER: Are you seeing a psychiatrist now?

02:46-FEMALE SPEAKER: Um, I go to a clinic, and I

02:48-see him once a month.

02:50-I also go to drop-in centers for group sessions, mostly for

02:54-my depression.

02:56-FEMALE SPEAKER: What about medications?

02:58-FEMALE SPEAKER: Hell, yeah.

03:00-They’re my lifesaver.

03:03-FEMALE SPEAKER: What are you taking?

03:04-FEMALE SPEAKER: Let’s see.

03:05-For the bipolar I take lithium, Paxil.

03:11-Oh.

FEMALE SPEAKER: I want to take care of her.
00:03

I really do.
00:05

I mean, she’s my mom, and she’s not getting any younger.
00:07

But I deserve my own life, my own place.
00:11

And I’m always tired of feeling like I’m suffocating
00:13

all the time.
00:15

It’s just–
00:16

It’s so confusing.
00:19

I love her, you know
FEMALE SPEAKER: I understand that you want a place of your

00:33
own to live.

00:35
You mentioned before that you and your mother argue a lot.

00:38
FEMALE SPEAKER: A lot?

00:39
How about all the time?

00:40
And all that stuff she hoards, it’s just like,

00:44
I’m drowning in it.

00:45
It’s like there’s more room for her junk than

00:48
there is for us.

00:50
It just drives me crazy.

00:53

Right to the hospital sometimes.
00:55

FEMALE SPEAKER: How many times have you been hospitalized?
00:58

FEMALE SPEAKER: Let’s see.
01:00

Three times in four years.
01:05

I think I mentioned to you that I’m bipolar, and I’m
01:09

lousy dealing with stress.
01:13

Oh.
01:15

Wait, um, there was another time that
01:17

I was in the hospital.
01:21

I tried to commit suicide.
01:24

I guess I was pretty lousy at that too, otherwise
01:26

I wouldn’t be here.
01:29

FEMALE SPEAKER: What made you want to do it?
01:31

I was a teenager.
01:32

And when you’re a teenager, you find a reason every day to
01:36

try to kill yourself, right?
01:41

I was–
01:43

I was depressed.
01:47

I remember one night I went out with some of my friends.
01:50

And, um, they were all looking up at the sky and talking
01:55

about how pretty the stars were.
01:58

And all I could think about was that that sky was nothing
02:01

more than a black eye.
02:05

It was lifeless, and it could care less about any of us.
02:14

When they finally let me go home from the

02:16
hospital, my family–

02:19
wow–

02:20
what a trip they were.

02:24
They didn’t want to talk about what I had tried to do.

02:26
That was off-limits.

02:28
I tried to kill myself.

02:31
And I they acted like nothing ever happened.

02:38
I’ve never told anybody that before.

02:43
FEMALE SPEAKER: Are you seeing a psychiatrist now?

02:46
FEMALE SPEAKER: Um, I go to a clinic, and I

02:48
see him once a month.

02:50
I also go to drop-in centers for group sessions, mostly for

02:54
my depression.

02:56
FEMALE SPEAKER: What about medications?

02:58
FEMALE SPEAKER: Hell, yeah.

03:00
They’re my lifesaver.

03:03
FEMALE SPEAKER: What are you taking?

03:04
FEMALE SPEAKER: Let’s see.

03:05
For the bipolar I take lithium, Paxil.

03:11
Oh.

03:12
Wait a minute.

03:13
I made a list so I would not forget the

03:15
medications that I take.

03:19
Let’s see.

03:21

I take lithium, Paxil, Abilify, Klonopin–

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