Most people who enter the social work or mental health field are well-versed and adaptive to their chosen career – except in one area. Suicide is not a required area of study. So when confronted with a person in their care who may be suicidal, many are left wondering what to do and how to do it. In this session, participants will learn about the risk factors and warning signs of suicidal ideation, how to talk to clients about suicide and how to work with the person in their care to address their suicidality.
Those attending this presentation will:
1. Learn about the personal fears/limitations that mental health professionals face when dealing with suicidal clients/patients
2. Learn how to recognize risk factors and warning signs of suicidal ideation
3. Learn how to ask the Suicide question and what steps to take when “yes” is the answer
Debi Traeder, of Mental Health America-Wisconsin, is one of the founding members and coordinates activities and programming for Prevent Suicide Wisconsin, a statewide initiative for suicide prevention at the regional and community level. Working with the state, county coalitions and the schools throughout Wisconsin, she has been instrumental in developing statewide networks and collaboration, striving to build awareness and alleviate the fear and stigma that surround suicide and mental illness. She also teaches a number of other programs including coalition building, postvention/prevention, fundraising, mental illness topics and methods of stress control. Debi serves as a coordinator for the state/tribal Garrett Lee Smith grant for Wisconsin. Debi has been working in mental health education and communication since 2000 and is a certified Master Trainer in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) a grassroots-based suicide prevention and awareness program. She also is recently certified as a QPR-T instructor, a specialized risk assessment and management training for mental health professionals. Debi also serves on WISE - Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination. She serves on the national Zero Suicide Initiative and was elected to serve on the Lifeline Standards, Training and Practices Subcommittee through SAMHSA. She is a member of American Association of Suicidality, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and an 18-year Rotarian. Debi is a graduate of UW-Superior with degrees in education and marketing, and currently lives in Weston, Wisconsin with her husband and sons.