Who we are:
Committee members are all AAS members who specialize in youth suicide prevention education. The committee members serve voluntarily and are not compensated in any way.
What we do:
• Independently review and collectively evaluate videos that are:
a) Related to suicide prevention, and
b) Promoted for use with middle, high school or college aged youth,
• Post evaluation results on the AAS website,
• Offer educators and suicide prevention advocates guidelines on "How to Pick a Video on Youth Suicide Prevention," (available on the AAS website and in brochure format)
• Encourage educators and suicide prevention advocates to become familiar with the video guidelines
• Encourage educators and suicide prevention advocates to use and promote AAS-recommended educational videos,
• Encourage film developers and producers to utilize the guidelines in developing educational videos for youth.
• Educating youth about warning signs and promoting help seeking behavior is a key strategy in reducing suicide risk among young people. It is a part of a school or community's comprehensive suicide prevention plan.
• Suicide prevention messages for youth (in videos or any other format) must follow best practice guidelines
• "Safe and Effective Messaging" Videos marketed to educate youth in suicide prevention must accomplish both of the following.
A. SAFE Messaging. As with any aspect of human service, the first duty is to "Do No Harm."
The Research: Some styles of presenting or depicting suicide can inadvertently increase risk for suicidal thinking and behavior among vulnerable youth and must therefore be avoided. (Gould, et.al.,2003)
For more on safe messaging, go to: http://www.sprc.org/library/SafeMessagingfinal.pdf
For more on safely selecting suicide prevention videos, go to: http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/committee-resources
B. EFFECTIVE Messaging: In order to be effective, suicide prevention messages must teach and model the skills, perspectives and resources that promote help-seeking. Effective training prepares young people to identify suicide risk and get help for themselves and their friends.
The Research: According to Social Development Model (Hawkins & Catalano), in order to encourage individuals to believe in and support a "desired behavior," we have to: 1) provide meaningful opportunities to participate in or strive for the desired behavior; 2) teach the skills necessary to perform the desired behavior; and 3) give consistent recognition for performing as expected, and provide constructive feedback when behavior is inappropriate. These three things-opportunities, skills and recognition are the qualities that develop and maintain strong bonds to the ideas (positive norms) and the people (positive influences) that will ultimately lead to the desired behavior.
In suicide prevention, the desired behavior is to turn to a trusted adult if a student is concerned about their own or a friend's suicidal thinking or behavior. Educational videos that model how to intervene/ask the question and then model help seeking (including ideas for different people to involve) assist with this process. Showing young people engaging in these steps not only models the desired behavior but also shows people receiving recognition for being a prepared and confident helper. We believe the most effective instructional videos present main characters (the heroes; those with whom viewers will most commonly identify) as the helpers.
Gould, M. S., Greenberg, T., Velting, D. M., & Shaffer, D. (2003). Youth suicide risk and preventive interventions: A review of the past 10 years. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 42(4).
Catalano, R.F., & Hawkins, J.D. (1996) The social development model: A theory of antisocial behavior. In JD Hawkins (Ed.), Delinquency and crime: Current theories (pp. 149-197). New York: Cambridge University Press.