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Bystander Intervention and Suicide Awareness - The Citadel

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Bystander Intervention and Suicide Awareness
LD 4-2
Training Objective
Task: Apply the steps of bystander intervention to suicide awareness and preventionCondition: Given a block of instruction and several scenariosStandard: Actively participate in the discussion of the scenarios, applying ACE and bystander intervention techniques to safely resolve the situation
Bystander Intervention
“Bystander intervention” is when someone who observes a situation (such as harassment, hazing, assault, etc.) takes safe and effective actions to step in and offer assistance.At The Citadel, we call our bystander intervention program “Step it Up.”
Five Steps
Notice the situation or issueDecide if the situation or issue demands actionDecide if you have the responsibility to actChoose what form of assistance to useIntervene safely
Notice the situation or issue
What are some of the common warning signs that a cadet may be having suicidal thoughts?Which can be determined passively?Which require active effort to notice?What does that active effort look like?As a squad sergeant?As a friend?As a roommate?
Decide if the situation or issue demands action
If the warning signs are present, you must take action by directly and unequivocally asking the cadet about his intentionsAn example would be“I can see that you’re distressed.” “Have you thought of hurting yourself or someone else?” or “Do you wish you were dead?”Exploreambivalence; ask the cadet specifically about his reasons to die versus the reasons to liveTalk openly about suicide, and be willing to listen and allow the cadet to express her feelings
Decide if you have the responsibility to act
A good guide to action is the Ask-Care-Escort (ACE) suicide intervention acronymIn every single case, you have the affirmative responsibility to Ask and to CareUnless you are 100% certain after those two steps that no threat exists, you have the affirmative responsibility to Escort the cadet to helpIf he will not go with you, call someone to come help you and stay with the cadet until help arrives
Choose what form of assistance to use
Cadet Chain of Command including Human Affairs TeamTactical OfficerInfirmaryCARECADICCounseling CenterChaplain or Campus Ministry TeamTrusted Faculty or Staff memberPublic SafetyOthers?
Intervene safely
Each situation is different, but possible interventions include:ActivelisteningCalmly controllingthesituation without using forceRemovingany lethal means, such as weapons orpillsEscorting the cadet to the TAC, the Infirmary, or whatever the best place is for him to get helpStaying with the cadet until shereceives appropriate help. Don’t leaveher alone even for a short period of time.
A-C-E Scenario Part 1
It is 2200 on a Tuesday night and you are just returning to your room from the library.As you open the door, you see your roommate quickly put what looked like a knife in his drawer and shut itHis eyes are red as if he’d been cryingYou ask “what’s wrong?” and he says “nothing.”What else do you ASK him?
A-C-E Scenario Part 2
Eventually your roommate tells you that he feels overwhelmingly alone, that he has no friends here, and feels like he has disappointed everyone at homeWhat do you say and do to show him you CARE?
A-C-E Scenario Part 3
As you are talking, you notice your roommate has several cut marks up and down his arm. Some are healed and some look fairly recent.You tell him you think it might help if he talked to the Human Affairs Officer but he absolutely refuses to go with you, tells you to leave him alone, and that he just wishes it was all over.You realize he needs help but since he won’t go, how do you ESCORT him to help?
Bystander Intervention Scenario
Bystander Intervention Scenario
You’ve noticed the situation, how do you decide if it demands action?What is the potential risk involved?How do you approach the girl?What questions do you ask?
Bystander Intervention Scenario
You’ve decided the situation demands action, how do you decide if you have the responsibility to act?What is your duty?Is there anyone present more qualified than you to act?Do you have the ability to positively influence the situation?If you do not act, who will?What are the potential consequences of your inaction?Are there any personal safety issues to consider?
Bystander Intervention Scenario
You’ve decided you have the responsibility to act, how do you choose what form of assistance to use?Is the danger immediate, short-term, or longer-term? Is it temporary, permanent, or in-between?What resources are immediately available to you?What other resources are required and can you get them?What can you do and what do you need help with?If you have decided assistance is required, what do you do if the girl refuses to cooperate?
Bystander Intervention Scenario
You’ve decided on a course of action, how do you intervene safely?What lethal items must be immediately be secured?What do you do if the girl becomes violent such as throwing her beer bottle at you?How can your three Citadel friends help keep things safe?
Open Discussion
What does “intrusive leadership” mean and how does it apply to suicide prevention?How do you balance a person’s right to privacy with your responsibilities as a leader, friend, or good citizen to care for them?Any recommendations for improving this class?





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Bystander Intervention and Suicide Awareness - The Citadel