|| Crisis Counseling Track | Diversity and Multicultural Track
The Spectrum of Suicide: Using Multicultural Empowerment to Understand Suicide Narratives and Foster Reasons to Live
Presented by Brynna Arnold, MS, NCC, LCMHCA & Eve Rogerson, MA, NCC, LCMHCA
The concept of suicidality has been increasingly changing as the polarization of suicide scripts in the United States is displayed throughout the media, within each of our cultural identities and backgrounds, and within the counseling relationship itself. The profession of clinical mental health counseling is built on fidelity to ethical practice, commitment to continuing education and professional development, and allegiance to client wellbeing (American Mental Health Counselors Association [AMHCA], 2015). Therefore, it is paramount that we account for changing suicide narratives and unique cultural identity in treating and assessing suicidal clients. In this presentation, we define and explore Cultural Script Theory as a culturally humble approach to suicide treatment and intervention (Canetto, 1992, 2008). We explore the spectrum of suicidality and discuss case-based, empathic approaches to treatment and risk assessment. Additionally, we apply the concept of suicide scripts as they relate to a multifaceted, individualized definition of suicidality and what this means for an empowerment-based approach to treatment, as opposed to a singular, uniform approach to risk assessment and acute intervention.