Bystander Intervention/Suicide Prevention

Bystander intervention is the act of feeling empowered and equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively assist in the prevention of inappropriate behavior or assault. Bystander intervention and bystander education programs teach potential witnesses safe and positive ways to prevent or intervene when there is a risk for violence. This approach gives students specific roles that they can use in preventing assault, including naming and stopping situations that could lead to violence before it happens, stepping in during an incident, and speaking out against ideas and behaviors that support violence.  It also gives students the skills to be an effective and supportive ally to victims in the aftermath of violence.

 

The following are essential components of our unit's bystander intervention program:

 

(1) Creating and nurturing a climate of caring for all students and staff.

(2) Teaching students to recognize instances of bullying and distinguish between tattling and reporting.

(3) Teaching students to develop empathy for victims and dealing with guilt for not intervening (not blaming the victim).

(4) Teaching students how to report bullying to adults and to develop effective means of intervention.

(5) Setting up a peer warning system.

(6) Empowering bystanders to intervene.

(7) Teaching conflict resolution skills.

 

 

Bystander Intervention training is being incorporated into the leadership training that is given each year within our NJROTC classrooms. The ultimate goal of the NJROTC Bystander Intervention Program is that it be led by the senior cadet staff. If you would like more information on the specific aspects of Bystander Intervention, contact Adjutant Samantha Flores.

The goal of NJROTC/NNDCC unit suicide prevention programs is to provide the mechanisms necessary to identify and respond to students who are at risk of self-destructive behaviors or possible suicide. The following are essential components of our unit's program:

 

a. The ability to recognize behavioral patterns and other warning signs that indicate that a young person may be at risk of suicide.

 

b. Active intervention that explores the level of risk without increasing it.

 

c. Ensuring that at risk students receive the necessary services.

 

d. Working with our school's counseling program for the implementation of measures following a crisis or traumatic event, to reduce the risk to those who have witnessed or been affected by the tragedy. The suicide, or violent or unexpected death, of a student or teacher can result in an increased risk of suicide for other vulnerable young people.

 

It can't be emphasized enough that we are not counselors or professional mental health experts - our goal is not to treat/counsel but to identify those students who may have a need in this area and to help get them the expert counseling that they need.

 

Teen suicide warning signs (from www.teensuicide.us)

It is important to take the warning signs of teen suicide seriously and to seek help if you think that you know a teenager who might be suicidal. Here are some of the things to look for:

  • Disinterest in favorite extracurricular activities

  • Problems at work and losing interest in a job

  • Substance abuse, including alcohol and drug (illegal and legal drugs) use

  • Behavioral problems

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Sleep changes

  • Changes in eating habits

  • Begins to neglect hygiene and other matters of personal appearance

  • Emotional distress brings on physical complaints (aches, fatigues, migraines)

  • Hard time concentrating and paying attention

  • Declining grades in school

  • Loss of interest in schoolwork

  • Risk taking behaviors

  • Complains more frequently of boredom

  • Does not respond as before to praise

If you, or someone you know, is dealing with some of the warning signs above and may be thinking about suicide, please consider contacting one of your NJROTC Instructors directly. If you feel more comfortable talking with another cadet about this issue, we encourage you to contact our Adjutant Samantha Flores.