Those who read my other blog know this is an issue I care deeply about. Hats off to Amber Baldet for stepping up.
See my take in this OCD Diaries post, and see the description of the talk below. It includes a podcast interview with Amber.
Suicide Risk Assessment and Intervention Tactics
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet it persists as one of the few remaining taboo topics in modern society. Many characteristics linked to elevated suicide risk are prevalent in the technical community, and the effects of suicide within any community extend far beyond those directly involved. Prevention and intervention, however, are not a mystery. This workshop presents evidence based practices to assess suicide risk in others, and an introduction to the step-by-step practice of crisis intervention. Rather than presenting a "depressing discussion of depression," attendees will learn basic QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) methodology - the same as taught to first responders and mental health professionals - in a condensed format that answers many common questions people may be afraid to ask. Special attention will be paid to risk as it affects our particular community, and an overview of crisis network technical implementations / limitations (effects of digital anonymity & ethical concerns, etc.) will be presented. Much like simple CPR training equips everyday people with the knowledge and confidence to help a heart attack victim that is likely a stranger, widespread dissemination of QPR training aims to equip everyday people to prevent a suicide - most often, of a friend.
Amber Baldet performs product development for the Central Technology group at a top tier investment bank. She was certified as an Online Counseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist by the QPR Institute in 2011.