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Suicide Prevention with Khara Croswaite-Brindle

July 28, 2019

Danny interviews Khara Croswaite-Brindle about suicide prevention.

Dan Colella: Hey, everybody, and welcome to the Sandstone Care Inspire and Empower Change live broadcast. We are in a new backdrop today.

Today, we are with Khara Croswaite Brindle with Croswaite Counseling. And today we’re going to talk about something that can be uncomfortable, which is suicide prevention. And you are, we’ll give it to you, one of the leaders in the area around suicide prevention. So much so that you do a lot of talks and trainings.

Khara C Brindle: Absolutely.

Dan Colella: Our community often looks to you for information when it comes to suicide prevention. So clinicians, professionals, pay attention today. You’re going to learn something great about suicide prevention, and we’re also going to talk about a training that you have coming up in June that clinicians can come to to learn more about what you do.

Khara C Brindle: Exactly.

Dan Colella: But really quickly, why don’t you introduce yourself, from your own mouth, in what you do.

Khara C Brindle: Hi, everyone. My name is Khara Croswaite Brindle, as Danny said, and I am supporting our non-profit, which is focusing on youth suicide prevention. So we are doing a lot of training for the professionals out there that are wanting to know how to do this and how to do it better, because suicide continues to be the leading cause of death for 10 to 24 year olds in this state. So we have a lot of work to do, and we are going to try and do that now.

Dan Colella: And thank you for getting in front of it and really taking this head-on, because it needs to be taken care of and talked about.

So today, we’re going to make this a little fun. Well, suicide prevention isn’t fun to talk about, but we’re going to make it a little bit of fun, and we’re going to share one myth from Khara, one fact, and one solution about suicide prevention. So why don’t you tell everybody the one myth around suicide prevention?

Khara C Brindle: Yeah, so it might be surprising to some of you out there, but we still have a group of professionals, as well as the community at large, who believes that talking about suicide actually puts the idea in someone’s head. Let’s be clear, that is a complete myth. The research actually supports that people feel relief when being able to talk about this with other people, so it doesn’t create the thought. If the thought was already there, it’s something that they actually feel a little bit of relief to say, “Oh, I can finally talk to someone about this.” So by no means when you ask someone about suicide are you giving them that idea. You’re actually making them feel better.

Dan Colella: I love that. So it’s way better. In your studies you’ve found it’s drastically better to have the conversation than to avoid it altogether.

Khara C Brindle: Absolutely.

Dan Colella: Studies and statistics show that. So that’s one myth, so if you’re wondering do we talk about it. I know we had talked about before, part of my job used to be going to high schools. They have that idea, because a big part of the people you work with are schools, counselors, that type of environment.

Khara C Brindle: Exactly.

Dan Colella: There’s that big idea that if we talk about it, then someone’s going to get the idea and it’s going to happen.

Khara C Brindle: Right.

Dan Colella: Not the case. That’s your one myth from the professional right there.

So what’s one fact around social media?

Khara C Brindle: I think the community’s also tracking this as well, but depression has a significant correlation, so a relationship. It’s not a cause and effect, but we have some connections between depression and we also are tracking social media, which has been a question that shows up a lot in the work that I’m doing. So right now, your number is three or more hours of social media a day puts you at higher risk. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to take your own life or anything, but it does put you more at risk, because it’s causing disruption in our over-scheduled lives.

So we have, specifically, our teenagers overusing social media, and there’s a combination of things like fear of missing out and wanting to compare ourselves and everyone looks so happy on social media. And so you put that together with sleep deprivation, when you’re up till three, four in the morning, and lo and behold we’ve got some issues that connect back to suicidal risk.

Dan Colella: So depression and suicide, social media. I mean, social media’s a big driver toward depression. So clinicians, parents, whoever gets to watch this, it’s important to limit that social media time. Social media can be damaging. As somebody who’s a social media expert, like we talked about before, I recognize, actually Facebook also recognizes, that the more time people spend on social media, their happiness goes down.

Khara C Brindle: Right, they did a study.

Dan Colella: So Facebook, they did a study, and Facebook has even said, “We’re okay with you spending less time. We don’t need you here all the time. We just want your time to be better that you’re here.” So if they know it, then pay attention.

And then one solution. One solution around suicide prevention.

Khara C Brindle: I mean, I think this is showing up everywhere, but to talk about it. We’re here talking about it today. We’re trying to model that for other people, that having a conversation matters. And I think for the parents that are tuning in, I get a question a lot about how do I start the conversation with my kid. And I really caution people to think about where are you coming from, because if you’re asking this question and you’re feeling uncomfortable, your body is showing them that this is uncomfortable, it’s really hard for someone to open up when your body and your face are saying, “I don’t want to go there.” So for the parents that are listening, please take this in and realize that yes, this is a hard conversation, a necessary conversation, and that if your body language and your face can show up as you care, that’s going to be really powerful for your kid. So hopefully we can just start this conversation in a way that people can really show up in the room.

Dan Colella: And if you can’t have the conversation yourself, so it’s just not within your skillset to really bring that up, you just know you’re going to act awkward or make it more awkward, then you should reach out to a professional or somebody else that’s a really influential character in that child’s life, right?

Khara C Brindle: Absolutely. And so many people are doing these trainings because they want to know how to do that. So whether you’re a mentor, or a coach, or you’re a teacher, we have so many people saying, “I know that someone’s going to approach me and to say this to me,” so how are we going to feel prepared for that conversation?

Dan Colella: And specifically, that’s what you train on, right?

Khara C Brindle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan Colella: So coming up, June 14th, right?

Khara C Brindle: Right.

Dan Colella: You’re going to be doing a training at Sandstone Care. Is this what you’re going to be giving people an idea of, is how to talk about it and how to … from a clinical standpoint? So this training, parents if you’re watching, this training is for clinicians. It’s for professionals in the industry. But what are they going to get out of this training? What are you really going to teach at this June 14th training?

Khara C Brindle: Yeah, I mean, this is a training we’ve been doing for the last two years, and it continues to have a lot of favor in the community because we break down all of that adrenaline of having to do a suicide assessment as a professional and give them a nice little acronym, we give them some tools and language to do this right, and in the end we also look at technology and how technology, ironically, can help as well as hurt. So we look at the apps and things that can help people cope. And so it’s just really about innovation and how do we stay innovative when having a conversation about suicide and assessing people’s risk.

Dan Colella: I love that. And not that it’s totally up and running yet, but you have an app coming out-

Khara C Brindle: Yes.

Dan Colella: … that is going to help clinicians really figure that out. Where can that be found if people are interested in that app?

Khara C Brindle: Yeah, so it’s a website. It’s not a store-based app. It’s actually online. And so it’s CACS-CO, for Colorado, dot com.

Dan Colella: And that’s where you’re going to find out more about that. And if you do attend the June 14th training, you’re going to hear all about that as well.

Khara C Brindle: Yes.

Dan Colella: So thanks for giving us a myth, a fact, and a solution today around suicide prevention. I think what we’ve all learned is that it’s better to have the conversation than not have it at all.

Khara C Brindle: Absolutely.

Dan Colella: I think the reason we do these Facebook lives, the reason we try to come to social media, is because we want parents, we want people to understand this stuff. And the way we can do it is we talk about it more.

Khara C Brindle: Yep.

Dan Colella: Right?

Khara C Brindle: Absolutely.

Dan Colella: We have the conversation more frequently so that parents, clinicians, and everybody can start to figure out that this is just something people go through. Your child’s not broken. Nothing, this is just part of life.

Khara C Brindle: Right, right.

Dan Colella: And we need to treat it as if it were a physical condition, just a physical condition of the mind, right?

Khara C Brindle: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And show up in support. I mean, this isn’t going anywhere. I think, really, we’ve got to evolve, because it’s not going to disappear.

Dan Colella: Yeah, I love that. So if you want to attend that training, and you haven’t found it yet, you can find it on Evite for … safety planning is what it’s around, right? Suicide prevention and safety planning?

Khara C Brindle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan Colella: I will post the link to the training below so you can click on that and RSVP. All of Khara’s trainings sell out, because she’s awesome at what she does. So I would encourage you to get that taken care of sooner than later. And as always, thanks for joining us today. We appreciate all the knowledge you’ve bestowed upon the community.

Khara C Brindle: Absolutely.

Dan Colella: And thanks for being a part of the Sandstone Care Inspire and Empower Change live broadcast. Have a great rest of your day. Bye-bye.

Khara C Brindle: Bye, everyone.

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