Supporting suicidal and severely distressed students

Supporting suicidal and severely distressed students 

The aim of this training is to help the participants to assess the risk of suicide in students and colleagues and provide them with safe and reliable intervention. The training course will use the University of Malta “Supporting suicidal and/or severely distressed students” staff guidelines. The course is interactive and the training entails a variety of teaching styles and tools. Each participant will receive relevant material and a certificate of attendance.

Trainers: Health and Wellness Counselling Professionals

Ms Charmaine Mifsud Cardona (Psychotherapist)
Ms Donatella Pace Olivari (Social Worker)
Ms Elena Borg (Psychotherapist)
Ms Sandra Schembri Wismayer (Psychotherapist)

Target Audience: UM members of staff. The maximum capacity for this course is of 15 participants.
Course duration: 3 hours 

By the end of the course the participants will:
  • Learn how to identify both students and staff at risk;
  • Become more aware of the myths related to suicide;
  • Be aware of early warning signs and behavioural change of suicide and distress;
  • Become more aware of the biological, psychological and social processes involved when a person is suicidal and/or distressed; 
  • To be able to talk with suicidal students and direct them for help;
  • To support and familiarise staff with the interventions carried out by the counselling services professionals at the Health and Wellness Centre.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction and Overview;
  • Common misconceptions;
  • Risk factors for suicide in university students;
  • Spotting a suicidal student or colleague;
  • Main signs of suicide and distress;
  • Learning about the biological, psychological and social processes involved when a person is suicidal and/or distressed;
  • Talking about suicide – what to do and what not to do;
  • Assessing the level of risk;
  • Creating a safety plan;
  • Directing students and staff/colleagues to get help;
  • Familiarity with the Staff guidelines booklet “Supporting Suicidal and/or Severely Distressed Students";
  • Familiarity and support to understand the interventions carried out by the Counselling Services Professionals at the Health and Wellness Centre;
  • Tips for self-care. 

Follow-up workshop: Empowering severely distressed students to seek professional help 

Trainers: Dr Marta Sant and Ms Charmaine Mifsud Cardona
Target Audience: Members of staff who have already completed the course "Supporting Suicidal and severely disressed students".
Course duration: 3 hours  

 

This training workshop is designed as a follow-up of the training offered: Supporting suicidal and severely distressed students. The aim of this training is to support staff by providing them with useful basic interpersonal communication skills, such as the use of active listening to support severely distressed students. It offers a space to learn and practice how to approach and talk to students in distress and guide them to seek professional help. A distinction is made between a crisis intervention in an emergency situation where there is imminent risk of suicide and a situation where one is concerned about a student’s wellbeing but is not a crisis.

The training shall be divided into two main parts. The first part consists of a presentation on active listening skills and techniques of how to talk to and empower suicidal and/or severely distressed students to seek help, delivered by Ms Charmaine Mifsud Cardona.  The second part includes a brief overview of the staff guidelines booklet provided by the University of Malta – Supporting suicidal and/or severely distressed students, which will be delivered by Dr Marta Sant. Participants will have some time for a brief Q&A session with Dr Sant, who has developed these guidelines.

 


https://www.um.edu.mt/hrmd/trainingdevelopment/coursesandresources/supportingdistressedstudents