Start Date

25-3-2016 8:00 AM

Document Type

Event

Description

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) strives to reduce suicide attempts and deaths through research, education, and advocacy. AFSP has been at the forefront of changing minds about suicide prevention and creating effective means of intervention.

Stigma and myths surrounding mental illness and suicide still prevail and contribute to its incidence. People often hesitate to admit suicidal ideation and to seek help. Healthcare professionals are in a key position to identify people who are suicidal and connect them with appropriate services. In order to do this, they need to not only know about suicide but be willing to intervene.

Advocacy is the act of creating political, economic, and social change. It is the professional responsibility of those working in healthcare to be active advocates for underserved populations where care is not optimal. This ability must be learned and practiced.

Educational opportunities are needed to address the cognitive components of suicide as a health issue and advocacy as a professional responsibility. However, the affective and procedural domains must also be addressed in order to make the transition of this knowledge to practical use. There is substantial evidence that service learning is effective in addressing attitudes towards marginalized issues. It is also a powerful mechanism to improve self-efficacy in a skill. Establishing a partnership between UMass and AFSP to develop service learning coursework to meet the goals of educating students in health-related majors in aspects of suicide prevention and advocacy would benefit both parties. Goals would include program development and evaluation.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

 
Mar 25th, 8:00 AM

Utilizing Service Learning to Engage Students in Advocacy for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) strives to reduce suicide attempts and deaths through research, education, and advocacy. AFSP has been at the forefront of changing minds about suicide prevention and creating effective means of intervention.

Stigma and myths surrounding mental illness and suicide still prevail and contribute to its incidence. People often hesitate to admit suicidal ideation and to seek help. Healthcare professionals are in a key position to identify people who are suicidal and connect them with appropriate services. In order to do this, they need to not only know about suicide but be willing to intervene.

Advocacy is the act of creating political, economic, and social change. It is the professional responsibility of those working in healthcare to be active advocates for underserved populations where care is not optimal. This ability must be learned and practiced.

Educational opportunities are needed to address the cognitive components of suicide as a health issue and advocacy as a professional responsibility. However, the affective and procedural domains must also be addressed in order to make the transition of this knowledge to practical use. There is substantial evidence that service learning is effective in addressing attitudes towards marginalized issues. It is also a powerful mechanism to improve self-efficacy in a skill. Establishing a partnership between UMass and AFSP to develop service learning coursework to meet the goals of educating students in health-related majors in aspects of suicide prevention and advocacy would benefit both parties. Goals would include program development and evaluation.

 

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