November 14, 2017
Emotional Fire Safety Plan
Suicide Prevention Line
TED Style Talk Title
I’m on Fire: What Suicide Could Learn Fire Deaths
Brief description of talk
Whether or not you’ve ever had to “Stop, Drop, and Roll,” chances are you know exactly what this phrase means. You probably recited it with fire safety officials who came to your school, sang along with kids TV programming, and read it in picture books. But no one would argue that being in a fire calls for the same response as being on fire. When it comes to suicide prevention, we’ve largely been treating them the same. Current suicide prevention protocols can be compared with knowing fire escape routes (Safety Planning) and calling 911 (Suicide Prevention Lifeline) — with being in a fire. Recent research shows that we need a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” equivalent in suicide prevention — for being on fire. This means brief, memorable directives that immediately reduce the risk of death. Some 3,000 people die annually in fires, while 44,000 Americans die each year due to suicide. Recently, Logic’s song “1-800-273-8255” began a massive public health campaign to prevent suicide, but standard directives are needed. We all know that both physical and emotional fires sometimes end in death. Let’s talk about what it would mean to Stop, Drop, and Roll to prevent suicide.
– Talk I gave on it at the American Association of Suicidology.
Whiteside, U. (2018, April). I’m on Fire: What Suicide Could Learn Fire Deaths. Invited address at the meeting of the American Association of Suicidology. Washington, D.C.