Missouri Legal Update

2020 Lesson 7: Suicide Intervention - Part 1

Interpersonal

Release Date: 

5/1/2020

This online interpersonal perspective lesson is Part I of a two-part lesson addressing suicide prevention. Section one provides background information on suicide including suicide rates in the United States, signs that someone may be contemplating suicide, myths and facts about suicide, challenges for law enforcement officers intervening, triggering events, and risk factors.


Section two describes how to complete the five stages of suicide intervention: Assessing Risk; Taking Necessary Action; Establishing Rapport; Maintaining Control; and Developing/Implementing a Plan. It provides detailed guidance on successful active-listening techniques for establishing rapport with persons in suicidal crisis.


Section three addresses officer wellness, including how officers can prepare themselves for the psychological toll of handling a suicide intervention and how officers can care for their emotional health after handling a critical incident. It provides suggestions for helping fellow officers and information on mental health care resources.


Section four plays the audio of an actual 9-1-1 call involving a successful suicide intervention. It analyzes how the dispatcher involved completed the first two steps of suicide intervention. The remaining steps are analyzed in Part II.



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