EdApp by SafetyCulture

Suicide Caregiving

By Suicide Is Different
11 Lessons
Deploy to my team

About this course

Are you worried about someone who is thinking about suicide? This course will provide you with tools and support to navigate through the challenges of being a suicide caregiver.

From the author

Are you worried about someone who is thinking about suicide? This course will provide you with tools and support to navigate through the challenges of being a suicide caregiver. The design of this course was made in collaboration between SuicideIsDifferent.org and TrainOn Powered by EdApp's Instructional Design workshop participants.

What you will learn

  • Learn to recognize warning signs and risk factors for suicide.
  • As a suicide caregiver, changes have occurred in your life. Explore how things have shifted and how to best adjust to these changes as you continue supporting the person in need.
  • Learn about how grief is related to your caregiving experience.
  • Explore how your relationships have shifted after taking on the role of a suicide caregiver.

Suicide Caregiving Lessons

Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.

  1. Exploring the Role of a Suicide Caregiver
  2. Building Empathy Around Suicide
  3. Debunking Myths About Suicide
  4. Talking About Suicide
  5. Taking Care of Yourself
  6. Spotting Suicide in Your Life
  7. Understanding Suicide as a Spectrum
  8. Supporting Safety Plans
  9. Navigating Changes
  10. Setting Safe Boundaries
  11. Revisiting Self-Care
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Follow the interactions on each screen or click the arrows to navigate between lesson slides.

Suicide Caregiving course excerpts

Exploring the Role of a Suicide Caregiver

This lesson will define what a suicide caregiver is and help you understand your role in caring for those in need.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Exploring the Role of a Suicide Caregiver

Am I a Suicide Caregiver? You may not think of yourself as a suicide caregiver. You may think of yourself as a friend, family member, or coworker. If someone you care about may be thinking about suicide... ...educating yourself as a suicide caregiver is a great first step toward supporting them.

Besides being a caregiver, what else are you juggling?

Video: Your Role As a Caregiver

Why Is It Important to Identify As a Caregiver? By putting your suicide caregiving experience into words, you're recognizing the importance of this role and accepting it as a part of your life. Thinking through the responsibilities and how they may affect you will help you prepare for the challenges in this new role. It's important to also take time to process you how feel about suicide, because it can influence your caregiving approach.

Video: Suicide & Me

Building Empathy Around Suicide

This lesson aims to expand your understanding about how suicidal thoughts can come up for individuals.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

** Building Empathy Around Suicide **

This activity will help you understand how someone can get to the point of thinking about suicide.

Think about your life right now.

That wasn’t easy, right? It’s difficult to lose things so close to you. Now, cross out the item with the lowest number left on your list. Also, cross off the highest number left on your list.

Debunking Myths About Suicide

In this lesson, you will learn more about the misconceptions that society holds around suicide.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

** Debunking Myths About Suicide **

** Suicide in Our Society **

Let's check your understanding

Talking About Suicide

This lesson will prepare you for having conversations about suicide as a caregiver.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

** Talking About Suicide **

Which phrase(s) should caregivers avoid using?

Taking Care of Yourself

This lesson will discuss the importance of self-care in becoming a more effective suicide caregiver.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Taking Care of Yourself

Self-Care Talking about suicide and being a support to others is a challenging process filled with tricky conversations and uncomfortable feelings. It is important to develop skills during this time to cope with this stress.

When you recognize you are lower on the scale, know that you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or seek help from a therapist for additional support.

Spotting Suicide in Your Life

This lesson will help you identify the risk factors and warning signs of suicide.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Spotting Suicide in Your Life

Consider This... Your friend Alex has been acting different. Usually cheerful and optimistic, lately they seem irritable and moody. You've always hung out together on the weekends, but lately, they're just not interested. When you saw them yesterday, it seemed like they hadn't showered in a few days—and that's not like Alex at all. When you asked if you could do anything to help, they said, "No, don't bother. I'm just a burden."

Which of Alex's behaviors could be a warning sign that they're thinking of suicide? Select all that apply.

What to Do When You See the Signs Now that you're aware of them, these signs can help alert you to check in with the person in need. When you spot any of the signs, you should ask directly if suicide is on the person's mind. Openly talking about suicide tears down the stigma around the topic... and shows the person in need that you care.

How to Ask How could you ask someone about suicide?

Protective Factors While it's important to know the risk factors and warning signs for suicide, there are also things that protect against suicide. Preventative care, family and friends, culture, and religious beliefs are supportive things that act as protective factors. With more knowledge around suicide, you are a strong protective factor in the lives of people in need.

Understanding Suicide as a Spectrum

In this lesson, you will gain knowledge around how to support individuals depending on the nature of their suicidal thoughts.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Understanding Suicide as a Spectrum

How would you react if... someone you cared about were thinking of suicide?

Understanding How to Help Your support as a caregiver is important. But there may also be times when the person in need requires assistance you are not equipped to provide. Next, we'll look at some questions that can help you understand someone's thoughts of suicide... and determine how to best support them.

If No Plan or Intent Is Present When someone has no plan or intent for suicide, support from a suicide caregiver can help the person feel less alone. Escalating them to emergency services for passive suicidal thoughts can make them feel more isolated or like a burden. As always, calling a crisis line (1-800-273-8255) is an option when you feel additional support is needed.

Swipe up to learn more about helping someone who is having suicidal thoughts.

As time passes, there may be situations where you get frustrated by the person in need.

You might feel they have other intentions behind their answers to the questions.

It's important to still take their thoughts seriously and act accordingly.

Let's practice! Imagine this scenario... Your friend Alex recently shared with you that they have been thinking about suicide. Alex said they don't really understand what the point of living is. You ask about any plan or intent of acting on the suicidal thoughts. Alex denies both and says, “They’re just thoughts that keep crossing my mind."

What Do You Do?

Let's practice! Imagine this scenario... It's been a week since you last spoke with Alex. The two of you touch base over the phone, and Alex mentions things have been bad. Alex is thinking about suicide right now. You ask about plan and intent. Alex answers, "I plan to overdose on my pills. I don't have them with me, and I'm not sure I would go through with this plan."

What Do You Do?

Let's practice! Imagine this scenario... A week later, you're on the phone with Alex, who sounds worse than ever before. Alex makes comments about not wanting to be here anymore. You ask about suicidal thoughts, plan, and intent. Alex answers, "I've been saving pills to finally end my pain. I was thinking of taking them tonight before bed."

What Do You Do?

Supporting Safety Plans

In this lesson, you will learn about what safety plans are and how you can support help the person in need implement theses strategies into their daily routines.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Supporting Safety Plans

To learn more about what a safety plan is, take a look at this phone app

This template was developed by Barbara Stanley and Gregory K. Brown with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Check it out!

Navigating Changes

In this lesson, we take time to reflect on the changes being a suicide caregiver can bring to your life and how you can process these emotions in a positive way.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Navigating Changes

** The Impact of Grief ** As a suicide caregiver, the changes you experience can lead to grief. Let’s talk about how that's relevant to your experience and why it is important to reflect on the emotions that may come up due to the changes in your life and relationships.

** Grief ** noun | grief | \ ’grēf Experience of deep sorrow due to drastic changes and losses in life

Setting Safe Boundaries

This lesson will show you how to set healthy limits and prioritize your own needs as you adjust to your suicide caregiver role.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Setting Safe Boundaries

Think About a Hug... How does it make you feel?

Video: Setting Boundaries

** Establishing your Boundaries**

Let's think back to Alex Alex has been calling you regularly, and you’ve also been over to their place a couple times to make sure they are safe. Sometimes, Alex will call during the night, and other times you notice yourself checking your phone to make sure you haven’t missed a call or text. You’ve noticed that it has been harder for you to fall asleep at night. You are exhausted at work and have been getting occasional headaches. You can’t seem to find time on the weekends to relax anymore. You recognize this lifestyle is not sustainable...

What Do You Do?

What areas might you set boundaries for?

What Could You Say to Alex Next? Share your feeling using a description of the emotion.

What If... the boundary you set is not honored? First, remind the person you're supporting of the original request. For example, for the situation with Alex, you could say... "I noticed you are still calling me in the middle of the night. I wanted to remind you of the other number that we both agreed on." Remember to add in empathy. For example, you could say, "I imagine this is a difficult time for you." Finally, take action on your part to further this boundary. For example, you could tell Alex, "Just so you know, I put my phone on silent during the night so I will have to return your call when I am available the next day." Setting boundaries is a continual and collaborative process. Boundaries take time to sink in. Be firm and work together to ensure everyone’s needs are met.

Revisiting Self-Care

This lesson will review the importance of self-care for suicide caregivers and provide you with a template to plan ahead.

Suicide Caregiving Course - Lesson Excerpt

Revisiting Self-Care

Click here to download the self-care plan template

Course media gallery

Suicide Caregiving

Suicide Is Different

Suicide Is Different provides interactive tools and support for caregivers of individuals struggling with suicide.

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