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Suicide Prevention

Submitted by
Campbell, Kade
Espinoza, Ashley
Hair, Rachel
Hermansen, Brooklyn
Kim, Lois
Salt Lake Community College
COMM 1010 (2nd)
December 11, 2015

Table of Contents

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.

I.
II.
III.
IV.

Title Page

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Project Description

Methods
Problem Question
Analysis of Problem
Criteria
Brainstorming Possible Solutions
Solution Analysis
Solution Plan

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Conclusion

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Work Cited

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Appendices
Appendix 1: Team Contract
Appendix 2: Solution Analysis Chart
Appendix 3: Participation Points
Appendix 4: Charts and Graphs

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Executive Summary
This report is our groups summary of our problem solving process for the Team-Making
Assignment in Comm 1010. Our group has a contract that gave each member a certain role and
requirements to receive participation points for this assignment. The problem we focused on was
finding ways to prevent suicide in our community. Using John Deweys Reflective-Thinking
Sequence (Comm 1010 11th edition, Adler, Ronald B.; Elmhorst, Jeanne Marquardt; Lucas,
Kristen pg. 236-237) and the PAC_BOY acronym (Comm 1010 11th edition, Adler, Ronald B.;
Elmhorst, Jeanne Marquardt; Lucas, Kristen pg. A19), we were considerate of creating solutions
that followed a specific criteria such as how easy it is to apply, does not put full responsibility on
an individual, and more.
Throughout this project, our problem solving process took several steps to find the best solution.
We created a question for our problem, developed an analysis, invented a criteria to follow,
brainstormed possible solutions plus their outcomes, and chose the best solution possible. After
finding the best solution with the criteria, we created a plan to make posters about suicide
prevention and hang them up around our school.

Project Description
Suicide is one of the major issues our society has been trying to prevent for many generations.
Not only does it affect the person that committed suicide, it affects relatives, friends, and others
who have been associated with them. Because of that, our group has decided to do something in
our community to prevent suicide using John Deweys Reflective-Thinking Sequence and the
PAC_BOY acronym. On November 24th, 2015, we are all going to make four posters about
suicide prevention and hang them up around the school with the principals approval. With our
posters, we are also helping and supporting the Hope Squad of our school who are also trying to
bring people awareness about suicide prevention.
It is important to our group to find a solution to prevent suicide any way we can. All of the
members of our group are aware of how suicide can destroy people and want to stop it from
causing any more harm. Even though we cannot stop suicide entirely, we hope to at least bring
more awareness to our school about how to help prevent suicide.

Methods
In our first meeting, we established a team contract that outlined our assigned group tasks,
norms, and individual roles (Appendix 1). We also brainstormed possible topics to use for the
assignment. Some of our ideas included:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.

Teen Pregnancy
Drunk Driving
Eating Disorders
Child Abuse
Cyber-bullying
Minimum Wage
Student Loans
Pollution
Animal Extinction
Mental Illness
Suicide
After narrowing down our options to five topics (teen pregnancy, drunk/distracted driving, child
abuse, suicide, eating disorders), our group discussed and decided to do our presentation on
suicide. Using the John Dewey Reflective-Thinking Sequence, our group evaluated different
solutions and which solution would be the best for our group to implement. After brainstorming,
discussion, and research, we have put together a write-up as seen below.
Part I: Problem Question
How can we prevent suicide in our community?
Part II: Analysis of Problem

A. History
a. History: Humans have committed suicide for thousands of years, though it was not always
abhorred. In Ancient Greece and Rome, suicides were not condemned as long as the persons
reasoning was sound. In the middle ages, the body of a person that had committed suicide was
treated badly by being dragged through streets, hung, and other appalling actions.
b. Causes: People used to believe that the economy and generational inclinations were the main
causes of suicides, but that is false. The three factors that contribute to suicides are thwarted
sense of belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and capability for suicide.
c. Research: Suicides are more abundant in males than females, middle aged, and whites. Suicide is
also one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
B. Characteristics
a. Causes: Suicide can be caused by many different things. For most people, it is caused by
stressful life situations. Not only that, a person could have a bipolar disorder, depression, drug
and alcohol dependence, and in some cases, schizophrenia that may risk people into committing
suicide.

b. Risk Factors: Some risks contributed to someone who is contemplating suicide could have access
to guns in their home, a family member who has committed suicide in the past, a history of
hurting themselves on purpose, a history of being neglected/abused, or even a romantic breakup.
c. Symptoms: Symptoms of a suicidal person could be a sudden change of behavior, losing interest
in activities they used to like, a change in eating and/or sleeping habits, talking about how they
feel more often than usual, and how they are talking about committing suicide.
d. Treatment: Not all people who have attempted to commit suicide want help. They might not want
to tell anyone they have a problem, because they might get judged. Also, some may think telling
people how they feel is a sign of weakness. However, most people who feel this way don't even
know where to go for help.
C. Stakeholders
a. The suicidal person: Suicidal people often feel like they are a burden to others. Some of them
think that their loved ones life will be better if they are no longer in it. Others may think that
their own pain and suffering is too much to handle. When a person commits suicide, they are
affected because they will not get another chance at life. If they attempt suicide but dont
succeed, their feelings and emotions can be very conflicted. They can become more depressed,
because they feel like they have failed. Often times if one doesnt succeed in committing suicide,
they are grateful for it later. Once things get better, suicide attempters are glad that they still have
their life ahead of them. When a person is suicidal, their goal is to end their own life.
b. Family: When a loved one is lost, the family members often fall into depression. They sometimes
feel hurt or betrayed and place blame on themselves a lot of the time. If a family knows that a
member in their family is suicidal, their goal is to help them feel loved and get better.
c. Partners: When the person someone has chosen to share their life with commits suicide, they
often have feelings of betrayal, rejection, and incompetence. They often wonder if they were not
good enough to stay alive with. When a partner knows that their partner is suicidal, it can be very
tough to deal with, but most of the time their goal is to help them not be suicidal anymore.
d. Friends: Friends of someone who commits suicide may also fall into depression. They wonder
what they could have done to prevent it. If someone knows that their friend is suicidal, they will
usually do what they can to help prevent them from committing suicide. Their goal is to prevent
their friend from taking away their life with suicide.
e. Co-workers: When someone you work with commits suicide it can take a toll on the business.
People might wonder if they were part of the persons distress or wish they would have reached
out to them more. The moods of everyone in the workplace can be affected and make it a hard
environment to work and be productive in. Most of the time people arent close enough to the
majority of their co-workers to confide in them about being depressed or suicidal, but if they are
aware, their goal would be to help them.
f. Psychologists: If the person who committed suicide was seeing a psychologist or another kind of
therapist, the therapist can have feelings of guilt and responsibility for the death. They wonder
what they could have done differently to stop them from committing suicide. Their confidence
might be affected as well since they have failed to save a life. A psychologists main goal is to
improve the mental state of their patients who have the potential of committing suicide.
g. Everyone else in the community: Even if someone wasnt related to the person who committed
suicide or they didnt know them directly, the suicide can still have an effect on them. One of the
effects may be triggering strong emotions and questions about themselves. Generally, the
community as a whole has a goal of preventing suicide. In the community, there might be people

D.
a.

b.

E.
a.

b.

c.

who dont care, or bully and encourage suicide, but the general society would help someone who
is suicidal.
Policies/Politics
Federal Government: In 2008, the federal government issued the H.B. 325 Policy, also known as
the Megan Meier Prevention Act. For example, Megan was a 13-year-old girl that committed
suicide after receiving rude comments on MySpace. Her parents started the foundation to help
others suffering like she did from the same issue. The law consists of a fine or imprisonment of
defenders. Sadly, the law never got passed. In regards to suicide, the United States has had laws
treating suicide as a felony, but was never enforced. The Utah Police Department cant do
anything, especially if the individual is/has ever had a history of mental illness.
Local Government: Utah has several laws regarding anti-bullying. For example, S.B. 304, issued
in 2011, requires schools to have an anti-bullying policy. H.B. 325 requires students and teachers
to report this kind of activity immediately. Our school has one of these laws with a penalization
of suspension, expulsion and, in some cases, criminal charges. In addition, R277-613 requires
the faculty to take training seminars on bullying, as well as how to inform the proper authorities
and parents if a student threatens suicide.
Resources Available
Websites and Hotlines: There are many websites and hotlines specifically dedicated to suicide
prevention. Not only do the websites contain tips on how to prevent suicide, they also contain
statistics, facts, and further information. The people in charge of the suicide hotlines are mainly
counselors who is always there for the caller and ready to give any helpful advice. All access to
these websites and hotlines are entirely free of use to anyone who need the help.
School Action: Bingham High School have been creating ways to prevent suicide throughout the
school each year. For example, this year the Hope Squad has been trying to find more effective
ways to help bring awareness of suicide. Their ways have given us references and resources on
what we could do to prevent suicide as well. Also, the textbook, Comm 1010 11th edition,
provided how to properly apply the Reflective-Thinking Sequence and the PAC_BOY
acronym to our project.
Personal Experience: There are many people who have had past experiences with suicide
throughout our community. Furthermore, there are also people who have relatives/friends who
have committed suicide. These are the people who provide effective advice on how to prevent
suicide to others since they have experience.
Part III: Criteria
Forming criteria is a way to stay organized, realistic, and focused on our ideas for the project. As
a group, we created some criteria to accomplish these goals. When creating the criteria, we used
some of the effective communication concepts we learned from our class. The criteria is
important in our assignment, because it is in charge of helping us find the best solution possible
we could use for our project.

I.

General Goal

Our general goal is to help prevent suicides in our community.


II.
Specific Criteria
A. Easy enough for an average person to apply
B. Proven results
C. Considerate towards both parties
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D. From a reliable source


E. Does not put full responsibility on the individual that is trying to help
Part IV: Brainstorming Possible Solutions
After deciding on the criteria for our solutions, we began to brainstorm ideas. We did not stop to
discuss the individual ideas, but listed all we could think of. Brainstorming solutions for this
project is important, because this process helps us understand how to use the Reflective-Thinking
Sequence to create solutions for our project. Coming up with the solutions was difficult, because
we felt there were a limited amount of solutions that we could do for this assignment. Suicide is
also a very sensitive subject and often requires the need of professional help. The following is
our list of solutions brainstormed:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.

Hang up posters with information about suicide


Use social media to inform people about suicide and give encouragement to people who are
suicidal
Do not use any put downs/use kinder speech
Stop bullying
Recognize the signs of a suicidal person
Spread awareness of the issue

Part V: Solution Analysis


In this step, our group analyzed each of the possible solutions we brainstormed. When choosing
the solution for this project, we first discussed how well the solutions fit the criteria we created.
Furthermore, we discussed whether any of the solutions would create negative consequences
with money, time, and other factors. After narrowing down the list of possible solutions, we
narrowed it down even further until we all agreed on the best and final solution to use for our
project.
I.

II.

List of solutions:
A. Hang up posters with information about suicide
B. Use social media to inform people about suicide and give encouragement to people who are
suicidal
C. Do not use any put downs/use kinder speech
D. Stop bullying
E. Recognize the signs of a suicidal person
F. Spread awareness of the issue
Chart
After we made the list of possible solutions, we created a sample chart to decide on the
best solution to use for our project. The top of the chart contains the list of the solutions
and down the left side contains the criteria that each solution will be rated on. Based on
the criteria, each solution was specifically rated on how easy it is to apply, shows proven

results, considerate to both parties, doesnt put full responsibility on the helper, and
comes from a reliable source. Some of the categories are more important than the others
which is why our group decided to have the important ones be rated out of ten and the
others out of five. The categories, Easy to Apply, Proven Results, and Not full
responsibility on helper, were rated out of ten; zero meaning that it does not follow the
criteria at all and ten meaning that it was met entirely. Next, the categories, Considerate
and Reliable Source, were rated out of five; zero meaning that it does not follow the
criteria at all and five meaning that is was met entirely. When each rating was completed,
all the totals were added and we were able to see the which solution had the highest
score. Although Kinder Speech had the highest score, we discussed the conflicts and
discovered that Posters, the second highest, would be the better solution.
III.

IV.

Final Solution
Our final solution was to make posters to hang around the school to spread awareness
about suicide. This solution was a combination of several of our other solutions. In
doing this, we were able to hang posters about information about suicide to raise
awareness about recognizing signs of a suicidal person. That is half our solutions
combined into one, so we felt this would be the best way we could help in a timely
manner. Hanging up signs, however, scored as second highest on our chart after using
kinder speech. We felt this would be difficult to measure how much we implemented, and
not as effective for such a small group. Our group made posters to hang in every
staircase in Bingham High School. They included information about suicide, how to
recognize is someone is suicidal, and inspirational quotes. This solution followed our
criteria of being easy to apply, from a reliable source, considerate of the person who is
suicidal, and does not put full responsibility on the person that is trying to help.
Possible Negative Consequences
The main possible negative consequence our group found was that the posters would be
ineffective. We worried that students would not read the posters, or that the posters would
be torn down. Even if this were the case, we did what we could to provide help,
information, and inspiration. The other possible negative was that our posters would not
be approved to post by the administration. However, our posters were approved and they
are still hanging up around the school.
Part VII: Solution Plan
After finding the best solution to use for our project, we implemented a plan on how we could
apply this solution to our community, specifically our school. Our group decided that on
November 24th, 2015, we are all going to make four posters about suicide during class. With our
posters, we were also able to help and support the Hope Squad of our school who are also
attempting to find ways to prevent suicide. We decided to make only four, because we did not
want to spend too much time making too many unnecessary posters. The following is the list of
assigned tasks each person received and the timeline for this plan.

I.

Assigned Tasks
A. Posters/Supplies: Everyone
B. Ideas for posters: Everyone
C. Get approval by principal: Rachel
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D. Hanging up the posters: Kade, Ashley, Lois


E. Take pictures for presentation: Brooklyn
II.
Timeline
A. Make the posters
B. Get approval by the principal
C. Hang up the posters
D. Take pictures while hanging up posters

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Conclusion
For the Team-Making Assignment in Comm 1010, our group worked together to bring more
awareness of ways to prevent suicide. John Deweys Reflective Thinking Sequence and the
PAC_BOY acronym were the key processes we used to develop an effective project. After
discovering the right solution, we implemented a plan and successfully accomplished it.
The solution we decided on was to create a couple posters about suicide prevention and put them
up around our school. After making the posters, we received approval from the principal to put
them up and we even helped the schools HOPE squad with the posters. This solution excelled
above the other solutions we created, because it was the most efficient and quickest way to bring
awareness about suicide. The solution fit the criteria we created extremely well, it did not take
too much time, and it was easy for us to create a plan and schedule a day to accomplish it.
Furthermore, it was a great activity for our group to help bring awareness and to prevent suicide
in our community.

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Works Cited
"A BRIEF HISTORY OF SUICIDE." SOARS. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
"Borderline Personality Disorder." Http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderlinepersonality-disorder/index.shtml. NIMH, n.d. Web.
Carroll, Linda. Deadliest Day for Suicides: Wednesday. Msnbc.com. N.p., 08 July 2009. Web.
16 Nov. 2015
Carroll, Linda. "Deadliest Day for Suicides: Wednesday." Msnbc.com. N.p., 08 July 2009. Web.
16 Nov. 2015
Dokoupil, Tony. "Why Suicide Has Become an Epidemic-- and What We Can Do to Help."
Newsweek.com. Newsweek, 23 May 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
Hinduja, Sameer, Ph. D., and Justin W. Patchin, Ph. D. "Combating Cyberbullying." (n.d.): n.
pag. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
"How Suicide Affects Others." Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov.
2015.
Pokin, Steve. "Megan's Story." Megan Meier Foundation. N.p., 17 Nov. 2007. Web. 19 Nov.
2015.
"Preventing Bipolar Disorder." Http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/preventingbipolar-disorder. WebMD, LLC, 2015. Web.
"Recognize the Warning Signs of Suicide." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.
Suicide and Suicidal Behavior
Http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/suicide-and-suicidal-behavior. 2015 The New
York Times Company, 2 Feb. 2012. Web.

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Appendices
Appendix 1: Team Contract

Develop Relational Norms


Respect others opinions
No complaining about assignments
Dont interrupt others
Participate
Develop Task Norms
Stay focused in meetings
Evenly distribute work
Commit fully to what you agree on
Assign Relational Roles
Participation Encourager: Rachel Hair
Harmonizer: Ashley Espinoza
Evaluator of emotional climate: Kade Campbell
Praise-giver: Lois Kim
Empathic listener: Brooklyn Hermansen
Assign Task Roles
Leader: Rachel Hair
Reality-tester: Lois Kim
Direction-giver: Brooklyn Hermansen
Energizer: Kade Campbell
Gatekeeper: Ashley Espinoza
History - Rachel
Characteristics - Kade
Stakeholders - Brooklyn
Policies/Politics - Ashley
Resources - Lois

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1.
a.
b.
c.
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.

Team Meetings:
November 6th in class
November 9th after school
November 12th in class
November 16th in class
November 20th in class
Team Contract Analysis
Realistic Norms and Roles
All members are willing
Enforce through points (10 total/meeting)
Cooperative
In attendance at meeting
Comes prepared with completed assignment (if any)
Quality work (typed, accurate, and comprehensive)
Signatures:

1 Point
3 Points
3 Points
3 Points

Ashley Espinoza
Rachel Hair
Brooklyn Hermansen
Lois Kim
Kade Campbell

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Appendix 2: Solution Analysis Chart

Posters

Social
Media

Kinder
Speech

Stop
Bullying

Recognize
Signs

Spread
Awareness

Easy to Apply

10

Proven Results

Considerate

3.5

4.5

Not full
responsibility on
helper

10

10

Reliable
Source

3.5

TOTAL

31

27

32

24

23.5

29

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Appendix 3: Participation Points


Rachel Hair: 10/10
Rachel came prepared with quality work to all meetings. She was cooperative and followed all
agreements outlined in the contract.
Lois Kim: 10/10
Lois came prepared with quality work to all meetings. She was cooperative and followed all
agreements outlined in the contract.
Ashley Espinoza: 10/10
Ashley came prepared with quality work to all meetings. She was cooperative and followed all
agreements outlined in the contract.
Kade Campbell: 10/10
Kade came prepared with quality work to all meetings. He was cooperative and followed all
agreements outlined in the contract.
Brooklyn Hermansen: 10/10
Brooklyn came prepared with quality work to all meetings. She was cooperative and followed all
agreements outlined in the contract.

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Appendix 4: Charts and Graphs

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