Lewis County
DBHR Peer Continuing Education Series
Trauma-Informed Peer Support

Continuing Education Series – Trauma Informed Peer Support

The Trauma-Informed Peer Support Workshop explores the elements of safety, transparency, reciprocal and collaborative relationships, cultural considerations and personal exploration to find the meaning each of us attach to our experiences of trauma and loss. It explains how the peer relationship is key to recovery from trauma and challenges in each of us to discover our own Next Steps. The training is interactive, engaging and a critical tool for peer support specialists. It Is based on real peers own lived experience of trauma and recovery.

About the Speaker

Nancy Dow’s work with trauma survivors spans 30 years where she came to understand that services and programs for people with lived experience of mental illness and/or substance abuse, must be trauma informed. She was trained by Leah Harris of the National Center for Trauma Informed Care, served as peer consultant to the King County SAMHSA Trauma Informed Care Grant and she presented Trauma Informed Care to all Harborview Inpatient Psychiatry staff in 2014. Nancy works on the Harborview Psychiatric ICU on the Peer Bridger team.

  • Lunch will not be provided.

Seating is limited, pre-registration is required. Employed certified peer counselors will be given first priority.   Please send questions to Sharon Holmes at Sharon@HoldingtheHope.com.

Please note, by registering for this workshop you agree to be added to our mailing list for notification of future events/trainings/workshops.

Brought to you by:
Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) & Holding the Hope

Ask About Suicide, Already!

Is it really OK to ask about suicide?  Really?  YESASK Already.

People thinking of suicide are conflicted and in a lot of pain.  They want to talk about the situation, but they don’t know if you want to hear it.  They send off warning signs sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly, because they want to stay alive.  They are waiting for you to bring it up.

People thinking of suicide are waiting for you to ask:  Ask directly; ask clearly; ask it again until you’re sure you believe the answer.

People tell me, “That seems harsh”.  “It feels very intrusive”  “I’m too awkward to just outright ask”.

So let me tell you – when you ask directly about suicide in a caring way, people will answer you honestly and directly.   Often people are relieved to have an opportunity to talk about their pain.  Besides – what’s the worst that could happen?  You’re embarrassed?  How does that compare with saving a person’s life?

So, let me help you out.  There is a formula you can use that will simplify everything.  I call it the “no dodge” question.  Make sure your questions is:

  1.  In the present tense – right now are you thinking of suicide?
  2. A Yes or no question – this is not the time to discuss the politics of suicide.  Yes or no – do you want to kill yourself?
  3. Using the word “suicide” or “kill yourself” – Euphemisms are not helpful here.  Asking directly tells the person you are willing to talk about suicide.

Here is an example:

“You are very upset about this [breakup, job loss, mistake whatever the problem is].  Sometimes when people experience this type of loss, they think of suicide.  Are you thinking of suicide?”

One more thing – asking about suicide will NOT plant the seed.  Not asking about suicide puts the person’s life at greater risk.

Once the person is talking with you, get help.  Call your local crisis line or the national suicide prevention hotline.  Here are some more resources to help you out.

National Suicide Prevention Hotlines
1-800 273-TALK (273-8255) press 1 for Veteran support
1-800- Suicide (784-2433) press 1 for Veteran support
1-866- 4U Trevor (488-7386) – GLBT support

On-line Resources
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.com (on-line chat available)