tv Defense Department Hosts Discussion on Suicide Prevention CSPAN August 21, 2016 2:20pm-3:41pm EDT
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talk about it media coverage has an influence on the soldiers and veterans considering suicide. this runs an hour and 15 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to this morning's roundtable discussion, the second of four roundtables and will be held this year posted by the department suicide prevention program. a big thank you to c-span for filming this morning's event and also for our journalists and our media that have come this morning, specifically from military.com and our stars and stripes partners. thank you to other media folks in the room. my name is keita franklin. i am the director of the defense suicide prevention program. today, we will hear from senator smith. senator smith is the president and ceo of the national association of broadcasters since 2009. prior to this position, he
served two terms in the u.s. senate from oregon. senator smith has a personal story to share today. i know you will appreciate time with him this morning. we will also hear from marie dayak, the president and ceo of the entertainment industry council. she is a member of the national action alliance who we work every closely with. she is an enemy-award-winning producer. finally, we will hear from colleen clarke, from the the national action alliance. these are professionals it come together regularly to put plans in place for suicide prevention for the nation. colleen is the secretariat of the national action alliance and a manager of the policy and strategic partnership. she has over 10 years of experience working in public health and suicide prevention. finally, i'm honored to introduce rosemary williams. she is the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs
for the department of veterans affairs. the department of veterans affairs is a key partner in our efforts to prevent suicide. why are we here this morning? two communities coming together in the media, journalists coming together around developing a common approach really for saving lives, i think. our work together is critically important. suicide prevention is probably one of the only fields that is so important that we come together around a common language in common approach. we know that words matter. and we know that we don't want to inadvertently ever accidentally do harm or say the wrong thing. so i couldn't be more pleased to have a conversation about this and bringing together folks to talk about this tough issue is near and dear to my heart. we have a lot of ground to cover. i suggest we go ahead and get started if that is ok, senator smith. senator smith: thank you. may i express appreciation to
each of you for being here. our thanks my thanks to the , department of defense and the defense office of suicide prevention. this is the work of the mind and of the heart. and it is an issue where those who put their shoulder to this wheel, i would say that you work on the side of angels. i come to this meeting with you by invitation. certainly nothing i say or that i hope you will hear today suggests that any of your rights in the media to express express yourself are in any way infringed. what we are here today is to learn from one another. i will tell you on a personal level, i suppose the reason i was invited here is that when i
went to the u.s. senate, i knew virtually nothing about the issues of psychology or psychiatry. i knew in my own life i could probably count the down days i had on one hand. and two of those days were days i lost elections. [laughter] that said, my wife and i, in 1981, adopted a beautiful infant boy by the name of garrett lee smith. garrett was a tenderhearted boy. he was handsome. he was good. but he was born with i think a very special challenge in life. and we know tragically too late that he was a manic depressive, bipolar, and the day before his 23rd birthday he took his life in his college dormitory.
so i had to learn too late, tragically too late, as many american parents do. and i would tell you that i found in my service in the i hope i'm known for good, but certainly the best did in the u.s. senate was to pass mental health legislation, that my colleagues named after my son and that led to many other breakthroughs in terms of mental health legislation as it relates to insurance, defense, veterans issues and many more things, and to the everlasting credit. i will say this as a republican, to our president who is a democrat, included in the affordable care act is a requirement that mental health parity be there. i am very proud of that and hope that, however reforms occur they future, that that is a corner
stone of health care policy in america. if you have physical health and you do not have mental health, you do not have health. i think it is important for all of us to remember however you register politically, this issue does not register republican or democrat. this is a human issue. it is something that our society is on the frontiers of understanding. and dealing with. and in dealing with it, i say this out of deep, deep respect, as one in broadcasting now, i count myself as part of the media. the media has a tremendous opportunity, if not an obligation, to understand this issue and to report on it in a way that will better inform the american people and parents like sharon and i were about the signs of suicidal tendencies and the resources and affordability
of mental health treatment in our age and its ability as never before to help people to lead good and productive lives. as you think of -- from a historical perspective some of our greatest artists, our greatest musicians, our greatest statesman. abraham lincoln comes to mind, meriwether lewis of the ways of discovering. winston churchill. these are all people that's troubled with serious mental health issues. and in the case of lincoln and churchill, they managed to make it through and to do great good. so we all have a stake in mental health. and mental health touches most american families, either directly or indirectly or through a neighbor or a relative. so it behooves all of us to become informed and know the resources, know the signs, and
know the availability of treatment. so my thanks sincerely to all of so my thanks sincerely to all of you in the defense department and in the media for your interest in this most important issue that really is a life-and-death issue. as the ceo of the national association of broadcasters, i was called to the white house following the unspeakable tragedy that happened at the sandy hook elementary school by my friend, our vice president, joe biden.
he and i served as a their chairman our ranking member of the european affairs subcommittee for many years. he called together all the people in various aspects of the media to basically ask what could we do? and the conversation started about issues like content, what can we do to change content, issues like can't -- like gun control, how can we advance that cause? and it came a point in the discussions where joe, as i call him, or our vice president, turned to me and said what do you think? i said, well, mr. vice president, you know as well as i do there is no federal court in
change. but i said, at the root of most, not all, but most of these terrible gun tragedies, there is the issue of affordability and excess ability to mental health. and he said, what can we do about it? i said there is something you can do about it because this is an issue that does unite our hard politics. he knew, because he was my real brother in past and -- in passing mental health he knew, because he was my real legislation, that we could bring the american people around this issue because it is not partisan. i then volunteered the broadcasting industry to do something about it. and i am very proud of my podcasters all over the country who, independent of their dues, we raised a million dollars to produce a series of ads in english and spanish, both for
radio and for television, and it was called "ok to talk." it was a multi national platform directed at young people, specifically teens, like my son garret was. so they ran the ok to talk ads on radio and television and raise -- and accepted 44 million dollars of free air time the results in a single year are astonishing. over 700,000 people went to the internet site called oktotalk.org and they shared their stories and they found places they could get help. and of the 700,000 that went to the side, 140,000 people clicked the button "i need help," and they were able to get -- and who knows how many sandy hooks out of that 140,000 that sought help may have been averted. so this was a great effort. it is ongoing.
it is ongoing. i think sansone has been involved in it. the national institutes of health have been in it. nami is continuing to lead in it. we are hoping that this effort continues. i would be remiss if i did not note murray dayak who is here from -- marie dayak who is here from the entertainment industry. they've done terrific work. so we are thankful for all that you do, marie. but what the ic continues to do is to provide online tools, including mental health facts and social media guidelines for journalists. guidelines, not dictates. you still you -- you still have your freedom. your freedom is unimpaired. the make a mistake, you helped to shape attitudes and beliefs
that people have about mental health. if you have a relative who gets cancer, you don't think poorly of them for that. you help them. but mental health can be just as lethal as leukemia. and so it deserves that same kind of respect. so these are guidelines for journalists in the entertainment industry to encourage deeper reporting and more accurate depictions of people living with mental illnesses. i'm also very proud of the associated press's movement a
few years ago to include in its ap stylebook language suggestions for how to treat this important and sensitive in shoe -- sensitive issue. we are proud we have held trained and -- help train and lay the conversation and help reporters have a greater understanding, a more keen awareness of the resources that are available to the media that will better informed reporting of mental health issues. the truth and also truth that is constructive and helps people and saves lives. again, as i began, i said to those of you who take this issue seriously and see it as a social
responsibility to speak the truth, you do the work of angels. thank you for having me as part of this roundtable discussion. keita: thank you, senator smith. i hope you know what a treasure you are senator smith:. i've been caught up -- i've been called a lot of words -- [laughter] keita: the policy experience and your personal strength around this, this is the second time i have had the opportunity to hear the center to speak. i always learn something and i'm sure you all this morning due as well. i know we are eager to hear from you, marie say you can share
more in depth. marie: thank you. senator smith, thank you. that was very gracious of you. the work that we have in doing with the broadcasters in some of the newsrooms, for whatever we can to bring in the stakeholder groups, the one thing that i came away from as i experienced is that stakeholders are interested in talking to the local media representatives, to tell their stories. and the broadcasters are interested in hearing them directly share their stories with them. but the notion of community service is one that i was not
aware of and the opportunity to take part in the awards program that broadcasters have the most remarkable sense of community service that i have ever experienced. i don't know if it is by design nine -- by design or people go into social service, but rod caster's, when it -- but broadcasters, what i've learned, is that they have a first responder team. we don't always think about it that way. i'm giving them something that they don't want, but that's how i see it. cities with floods or hurricanes or any kind of major crisis during the holiday season, they are part of the first responder team. i think sharing our ideas through the associated press, that was a remark will experience. thank you. [laughter] somebody wants to hear this. all right. [laughter] so the associated press was interesting in terms of taking that role and creating the first chapter on reporting on mental health. i remember at the time, brian and senator, you are working on getting the interest in this. when it was complete in the chapter came out -- i think it
was in 2013 -- it was very interesting. summit he asked me, well, where's the branding? and i said, when you really want the right messenger to cure the water, it gives us that branding. and the associated press owned that product. and they are the ones -- and i have the copy of that press release -- a clear directive. there's no way a special interest group could take on that role and with the credibility that ap has. it was very interesting. they bought into it. there were very directive. and we are fortunate to be among groups to provide resource material. that was just groundbreaking. that was amazing. another thing that provided training in college with broadcasting stools. a young journalist would take this and say what is the big deal? they didn't know that style guide pre-metal held. they just assume that has always been there. as they move -- pre-mental health. they just assumed that it had only been -- just to let them know that there are new avenues, new resources as we report on this very difficult issue. do think, if he had to go into that school, i don't know what that would be like
they want to say because they have experienced the unsuitable. but instead, what we hope they say, it is a crime scene. and to maybe respect that because i cannot imagine what that does to somebody. sort of imagine it, but in any case -- so what do we do with our trainings? i will be brief on this because i want to hear from the rest of you. we talk about content. what is the content we want to deliver? the messenger, who is the best messenger? some of you are in this room. i am looking at you. the delivery system, how are we going to deliver this? will it be through example or interview or story? the timing, immediate seems to be the immediate answer. but sometimes we may be holding back. senator, as you said, if
somebody has a suspicion that it is mental health related, well, i am not a doctor or psychiatrist. i'm not one to give my credentials are that and maybe taken the time to verify those things is a good idea. because that person could be any one of us and our neighbor. and then the audience. the audience is something that
we take seriously around circulation. so i am going to share with you some of our more unique -- i figure was one of the most unique and experiences i had in terms of bringing training to journalists. i filed out that the san quentin prison has a newspaper, if anybody is aware of that. they print a monthly newspaper. a colleague of mine said, what you think? should we send them a style guide? i said, no, we are going there and we are going to do a training. i sent to journalists and a psychiatrist with me. we went in to send quentin, which was quite an experience. my kids were telling me, mom, you realize it is not a college. i know what it is. i know what it is.
it was very interesting. first, we looked at the circulation. 4100 men are in the prison. they all get a copy, plenty of time to read it. there are 32 prisons in california and -- in california. in an online version outside the prison system, is avails it -- is available to caseworkers and family members. and and homeland version outside the prison system is available to caseworkers and family members. a huge population in the state. the circulation was bigger than the smaller communities that we were changing. and a captive audience member. we did the training. one of the things that came out of it was the concern about the turnover in the psychiatric care. because of the nature of the client, if you will, the turn over is something that is challenging. the second thing we found out is that we asked the individuals -- how do you handle? there were 14 men in the prison uniform in there with their communications branch chief. and before of us. and he said that we have somebody who dies by suicide and we talk about the man that we knew.
we don't avoid the cause of death but that is not what we lead with. we lead with the man himself. it was amazing to me. no public money is used in this program. uc berkeley school of journalism works with them but there is no public money coming from this. so it is pretty remarkable. i think between the entertainment media and the journalist, you have a better sense of the audience than many of us in the field of health care. we are trying to get to the general public or target audience but journalists and broadcasts and entertainment writers are keen on that. can i name a brand? i will just say it. if i watch shows on cbs, there is a profile going on but he tells me something. not to be upset by it but to say they are good at identifying target audience. understanding better how they read the audience. stakeholders, once they go home, and they're the same people that we are trying to reach. so we talked about language earlier to and intentional and unintentional which gears a little bit. one of the most compelling -- and we have all known people, i think, who have taken their own life for various reasons. but what is the most compelling things is to hear the number of people take their life within a day or minute or month. and whether it is military, domestic, first responder, the general public, regardless of who it is, the numbers are staggering.
in the other column, we will talk about people who are desperate or who feel estranged or who don't feel normal. no what kind of therapy. there isn't a connection to feel normal but they are looking for it. to hear that number frightens me. i can't numbers are important for policy conversations but when the public hears those numbers for someone who feels estranged and normal, to they feel that those feelings are normal? is this a pass?
i'm not suggesting that it is fact but it gives us pause to be careful how we present numbers and staggering numbers -- to a population that can feel very alone. and looking for some connection, it even if it is through death. so putting that out there, that is something that i worry about. i don't have research behind it but i think it is worth considering. i hope our discussion will consider that. so -- summarizes what we do. thank you. >> thank you. we have a lot to learn from your organization and particularly how to train on these issues without coming across as though we are trying to dictate. we are definitely not interested in dictating but more understanding the state of the issues. so i want to consider the -- i want to continue the dialogue with her office. the four biko to colleen, i want to do a check in with the media folks in the room. if anybody is willing to share -- i am not trying to put folks on the spot.
if this is the first time your hearing of this kind of discussion or if your larger newsrooms know about this kind of stuff or if you have suggestions to me with your own experiences around reporting with suicide, if anybody would be willing to share? [laughter] there are 70 back, i know. >> in a lot of newsrooms, i fear -- do you have any research evidence that simply reporting on suicides are a problem? >> i know dr. welsh -- certainly, since you are at the table. >> [indiscernible] -- showed that when you take the sensation away, the large
headlines, when you do things like show a photo of a -- a to use the photo but of a popular spot where people have killed themselves -- when you do things like that, especially in the case of a celebrity, people who are full mobile, especially younger people who are for normal -- and the studies show it with younger people -- so teenagers, primarily, there has been shown to be an increase in suicides. >> i should have mentioned early on that eileen is one of our closest colleagues over in the
substance abuse and mental health services administration and works with the defense -- works with the department closely. maybe we can talk more about this off-line. >> dr. franklin, do you have any research on a similar issue in the military? does reporting on increases or decreases? places, sites, methods? >> i don't know if any studies on selective to the military but we know that the research is dependent on folks around the world. i appreciate the question, it is a very good one. i will take that down and run that.
>> in the 1980's, as a long recovering journalist, we were not allowed to report on suicide because of the threat of ideation. contagion. particularly around young children. i know the let mr. case is well-known around journalists. there was a follow-on suicide. tragic. and it became a struggle in the early days, before cable and the 24-hour news cycle. there was thoughtful dialogue around someone well-known dying by suicide. that conversation is, because people are self published and things are off the table as far as what is allowed and not allowed.
and i think that is largely for the better. now we have full transparency. the federal government has to report on upgrades that we did not report for decades because of the transparency piece. and that is from the coalition with sergeant better experts, sam's a and we get together and say -- what are the recommendations to keep the language safe? because it is such an easy pivot to inadvertently do something wrong. the reporting is really responsible. and somehow we and up finding a headline that says "committed suicide." we don't say that anymore because we want to look at it as a tragedy that we have the seven word count tragedy. in the old days, headlines had to be seven words or fewer. those days are gone but there is a space issue. so the idea is that within the new cycle, can we have a conversation that when something happens, where can you pull back to and look at some guidelines
to helm the craft of reporting? >> if i could add to the data question, i would imagine there are a number of studies that look at contagion or imitation suicide, particularly with political audiences. people who are struggling with suicide thoughts themselves. and there was interesting research that came out -- it is more about the content then
there being coverage at all. it was a study from austria that showed when the coverage looked at someone who had suicidal ideation but did not go on to die by suicide, there was a protective factor in that. you are demonstrating that someone who was struggling found resources. a lot of it has to do with the nuances of the content and less of other stuff. >> if i may add on behalf of the international guard, not to speak to what the evidence revealed, but the national guard and the air force -- we do have public guidelines on how to message when a suicide does
occur. message it to our leaders and members. and that is something that is most likely in place across dod. >> if i can add one more thing -- i know you are anxious to get on -- i think that one of the things that is really important, the media wants to do good. and call it public service or anything else, you are trying to be accurate. you need to have interesting stories to tell. in my mind, what the media can do is actually encourage people to get the help they need. so by giving the right message, that is what you are doing. where teaching people what is really going on. i think it is really interesting what marie was saying about the focus on the numbers. for many years what we did was focus on the numbers. x number of people die every minute, by day. 42,000 people died by suicide and -- what? there are stories out there of people who have -- that there is
hope out there. there is help. people can get better. there is healing. it is those stories. we need to work with the media more to get those stories on the local level. whatever your constituency is. we need to do our job so that you can tell the kind of stories that are healing and encouraging. so whether that is -- are you worried about someone who might be suicidal, here are the warning signs. or, you are welcome to call the national suicide prevention lifeline which is the same telephone number. at military crisis line. those simple things -- we are
all working towards the same goal. >> you make a really good point. and i don't want to make the media nervous. i can imagine the peace with the editor -- i will write a story of hope. how interesting. [laughter] how nice. i hope somebody enjoys that. [laughter] >> so you do a story on someone who dies by suicide and there is a takeout box at the bottom, if you or someone you know is that risk then call. there is always a takeout so no one is feeling squeamish about putting out a public service announcement when you are trying to report the news. to me, it is giving enough information so that folks can
not inadvertently do any and send taking on the time honored public service of journalism and having the call out box. having the number so that people can get help. every report, whether done responsibly or irresponsibly, and it is never intentional, stands a risk of triggering a suicidal ideation. every single report. so then it comes down to, what is the responsibility of the person who is crashing 800 birds in 25 minutes -- what can i do in that amount of time? sometimes it is just the one 800
-- 1-800 number. the more you realize, a simple word, a turn phrase -- how do we talk about robin williams dying? what does that mean? the calls to the suicide hotline after robin williams work astronomical. so what is the responsibility if you are reporting? that is newsworthy. so to me, it is more collaboration around the information that is available and the folks who are doing the time honored work in an environment that is not friendly to checks and independent second sourcing and all of the traditional rules.
prevention and what we are doing. we launched in 2010 and we're focused on advanced information. we have a private section leader to get the initiative off the land -- initiative off the ground. we chose to priorities early on. one, transform the health system. suicide initiatives nationwide. everything is to change the conversation about suicide. really focus on that. one is working with the media and reporters and then working with the own field when we are your sources, are we messaging on point? are we talking a similar
language? how are we working with the media to report accurately. this is the national strategy -- focused on reporting practices. that is really what we are all about. one of our earliest efforts was a partnership with the institute, to come at this collaboratively with the field. the institute news journalism and ethics so well. they were the right partner to get this started. over two years, we did a number of regional trainings. we brought trainers in and -- we bought reporters in and we learn from them.
they taught us how we could be doing this better. we taught them about mental illness and suicide and the complicating factors that could influence how suicide is reported on. and that partnership has continued. i will mention a few things from the pointer. there is a freaky course for journalists now -- there is a free e-course for journalists now. to learn some of the nuances. there are articles about how to prepare a newsroom to cover suicides and that goes to newsroom policy. when do we cover and when don't recover. and how do we prepare? how'd you have the resources ready to plug into a story that needs to get written and published soon. we are continuing to work on some methods and strategies for training journalists on a larger scale. the other piece we are working on, like i said, working within our field of how we are messaging on suicide. we have something called the action lights framework. and this talks a lot about the numbers -- what's our strategy
when we are putting out messages in the field? whether it is a campaign or slogan or a suicide prevention month, who are we trying to reach? is this aligned with the words we are using and the language we are using? we continue to work on that and hopefully, by training our field and using similar language and media, we can have a common language to provide the content for the media as well as serve as resources for you. and the third major pieces are the media recommendations. consensus recommendations that were developed with media. there is a copy of them in your folder today. we're working on disseminating those far and wide. there is evidence ashley that it can reduce suicides nationwide. there was a study done in vienna after a spike of subway
suicides. partnering with the media and journalists there and they had a remarkable -- it was mirrored in a decrease in population suicides. it wasn't a transfer to different means but it had an impact. a lot of those, it meant they were no longer covering every suicide that happened. it had to meet certain threshold criteria to be worth writing about. so there is definitely good research about. australians have also done a lot
of work with the recommendations and shown some impact in a population. and then, the other piece that i mentioned earlier, there is benefit to really telling the story with the struggle of ideation and finding support and maybe we could have more discussion about this today. really engaging those with lived experience in our stories. and these might be folks who were struggling with ideation and went to treatment. they might be a suicide attempt survivor who wants to help others find recovery. there are a lot of stories there that our media -- a lot of stories there that are media worthy. there are a lot of stories that are highlighting the voice of the lived in experience at we have more professionals who will speak to that who can be a resource for media whether it is in a training atmosphere or to support a story or provide insight. i think that is something we can talk about more, the voice of lived experience. i think that has a lot of value to stories. i am happy to continue to participate and talk about some
of the things we have learned with the action line. >> for those of you that don't know, the senator will have to step out but we do thank him for his time this morning. we will continue with the dialogue. colleen, it has been some of the biggest lessons in terms of talking to our own community? i am part of this community and i'm trying to think through our responsibilities as clinicians and psychologists and psychiatrists to message properly. what would be some big takeaways around that? when a bring together a community of my own colleagues to discuss this issue, what should i share with them? >> a big piece is the strategy question. we message about this issue in so many different ways with different audiences and we don't want to use the same message for every audience. if we talk to policy makers we might using a language but we need to be cognizant if we are start -- if we are designing a campaign, it is a very different
message. being thoughtful and intentional about that. having the conversation that -- we are wanting to reach this audience and that is why we're making the celebratory's is. and i think making sure that whether -- if we are talking to clinicians, that is a very different audience. so with your clinical peers, a different conversation with a friend messaging. and we just want to make sure that we are very deliberate in that way. we are always checking our strategy and the intent. so another audience would certainly be the media. and you put out a story, you have certain reasons you are doing that. we want to be respectful of that. and i think we want to better understand that from the perspective of the journalists. the challenge you are facing at the purpose behind your story. what are you trying to communicate and how can we support that and provide the information and the evidence, whether it is clinical information or public health research, whatever it might be. so we understand where you are coming from.
it is not a divided line, we have a divided mission or at least understand the mission you are on. we want to be respectful of >> are there other thoughts from the journalists on this topic? this issue of wanting -- the folks that to the programs on this, pointing to know the field or the play to our under when you want to report on these things? >> well, it would be curious as to what you talked about -- media worthy suicide coverage. what would you say something that constitutes that? sometimes we look at that and suicide is such a touchy subject -- talk to the family and that is difficult for them and difficult for us. so, at what point -- >> what are the thresholds? every suicide is tragic but what would make something -- >> the ap style upgrade in 2015 talks about this a little bit.
it does give a little bit of guidance for maybe -- it is trading at like a public health issue and not like a crime that took place. what is it about that that makes it -- if there is a crime, -- >> the public health issue peace. you could argue the newsworthy piece of a famous person dying by suicide or even -- when you try to make it about veterans -- much has been made about -- it's no longer 22 percent today, it is 117. awesome, right? now we not talking about veterans, we're talking about all. that is where it should go. veterans of the rate of suicide, it is lower than civilian cohorts. at the end of the day, the more we talk about this is a public health issue, it gets into the
public psyche and families are having conversation because it is on the news. the newsworthiness -- if you keep bringing you back to the public health issue, you will have a solid story most days. sorry for the interruption, i have a terrible memory. >> i did want to respond to that -- i didn't phrase it as a public health issue but it is an interesting way to phrase it. i don't know that i would put it in the headline but moving forward, one of the things that it reminds the house is that as families start to -- and going back to the ap style guide, if somebody takes their life
if you final act is that person taking their own life, i think that fits in this threshold. it is something that people will want to know, is that person still on the loose, how did that go down? there are a lot of in our case issues and that is really important. if it is a public figure, it is already over the world. to ignore it would be another red flag. that comes down to that pool of what do you do with it is the community?
we remember the man, and we talked about how -- a lot of pearls of wisdom in that briefing. >> i think one of the things we have struggled with is that we do want people to be talking about suicide. we want people to talk about mental illness, we want people to talk about suicide, and above all, we don't want to go back to the days where you had the c word for cancer, you don't want to have the s word. my assumption is that your first responsibility is to your readers, your constituency, and to tell your story in an ethical and -- there are times where you are going to report about suicide, and if it is a celebrity, absolutely, so focus on the person, and i think if you read these recommendations, you will see a lot of good
recommendations, but one of the things that is important is people died by suicide for very complex reasons. it is never just because somebody was bullied in school, it is never just because they have an untreated depression. it is going to be a number of things that make a person feel less connected, more alone, more hopeless, and it will add up and it is not natural for a human being to want to kill
themselves, we are animals, we are supposed to survive and procreate, so a lot has happened to these human beings and to simplify it in an article is not unfair -- is unfair to everyone and there is also the piece in terms of a call box or who you talk to, i think it is great, but we have a responsibility in the field to make your the experts in suicide and prevention are available to the media so that you can talk to someone and take it into the next tier. it was a huge interest because robin williams that by suicide because the message to the public and we all felt this was oh my gosh, this was a man we loved so much. if he can't do it, then how can i do it? and that is where the stories of survivors and people who have attempted suicide and
felt in those depths of despair, where it is really important to talk to folks like this and say i get it, i understand, and this is the help i got and i am actually ok, now. that is sort of the balance. tradable the four, preventable, is another, we believe suicide is rentable. the headline was robin williams, another preventable tragedy and those are the messages that can be helpful. >> we do believe that in the department, and we try to push that notion that prevention is possible and it becomes complex for the department because the story or the catch for a story is often that was a veteran employed, and sort of on par with the celebrity in some respects, so i will struggle a times reporters that want to focus on employment and so we studied that out and determined that deployment is not a risk factor, and those that die by suicide are not more or less likely to have had deployment in their history, so we were glad
to run that study, but it still becomes catchy for headlines, so it is an endless struggle. we know that the employment is a protective factor, that folks that deploy are quite proud of their work, so this becomes troublesome for us in still trying to capture how we highlight the military as a unique population group, and employment is what makes them unique, but also not to over focus on that. >> we worked really closely with both the a and dod -- va and dod and the private sector. it does make headlines when a service member dies by suicide.
we really treasure our veterans, we treasure our servicemembers. suicide is a human problem that touches all of us whether we have hill it -- military history. >> i would share a couple of takeaways on what we have going on in the department if that's all right. this is the first time the department has had this kind of rich dialogue with the media community. i want to make sure everybody knows and i know many of you already do is that september is suicide prevention month. we highlight suicide prevention but make no mistake, it is an all year, all hands effort. a collaboration with the v.a. and our theme is #be there, this
notion of being there for one another, being there for yourself when you have a need and reaching out and getting help. we are pleased with that campaign, we think it resonates well with our military culture, that today's service members tend to rely on each other for help and we see that as a strength, so we are hoping oaks continue to be there for one another. a kick event on september 7 in -- kick off event on september 7 in the pentagon, we will bring in a was in general to talk more about suicide and prevention and at that event will also be an art exhibit, reflections of generosity where servicemembers have developed pieces of art that reflect their own coping and healing, so we are pleased to put that on display, and then
i would just tell you, those of you who know the word thunderclap, there will be a thunderclap on september 1, promoted by social media. we are also hosting a number of trainings and things like that throughout the month, and it is important to know there is a science to the field of suicide prevention and there is evidence and where there is not, there are studies occurring to run these issues down, so it is an evidence-based model called an assist to teach people first responder type stuff. also, we are looking to recognize one of our installations, so all the military services will announce this #be there campaign in installations will host specific campaigns throughout the month of september. -- holding the most effective suicide prevention campaign and that is the first time ever, so we would be eager to talk to the media more about that at the end
of september, as we hear which installation rises and we will bring them up to the pentagon for a special ceremony. we are trying to get after these issues as early as possible and talk to our youngest leaders. we'll go around to all of the academies and talk to new and upcoming military leadership about their role in prevention of suicide as they enter into the ranks, we are eager to share that story and welcome any additional questions. those are just a couple of things going on, to move into the month of september. are there any final comments before i turn it over to -- julie -- will be providing closing comments? >> i love what was raised about the public health model for
approaching the conversation, because the dod has an increased interest in understanding the way suicide impacts our family members and by expanding the language, i think it creates that immediate sense of buy-in, what are the concerns spells or sibling. by making it that more broad, it will gain ground for us in trying to connect with not just the service member, because we
realize how impacted our servicemembers are if a family member dies by suicide and vice versa, suite think that is really the key. one of the things that we have been able to track is that 85% of our military communities, active duty, reserve and national guard are 35 years or younger. at the end of the day, in last years or grades, born in 1996, they all live and thrive here. we can't put a poster in the family center and expect people to be engaged.
when we talk about veterans crisis lines and social media, this is significant, and i would say to the folks who do the good work of journalism, if you latch on to the #bethere, or write about the suicide line, you will capture a viewership that you did not, before. >> you remind me of our social media research and our recent study where we have worked with the university of utah to examine social media. we get a lot of questions on suicide prevention and what our strategies we are going about
getting out to these issues and many of our veggies are tried-and-true public-health roaches that we've always done, but social media is a new area that we do not have a lot of knowledge on, so we did a recent study in what we found, i'm happy to share the larger results and connect you with our experts, but what we found is that servicemembers are posting the risk on social media platforms. they have open platforms in the unit where they are listing they have relationship problems, they talk about suicide being a complex issue, they are listing all of those complexities on their social media platform. people tend to think oh, nobody
knew when somebody to mid suicide, but that is not the case and what we are learning about today's young people, they are posting that they had a breakup or that they have gotten wrong sided with command or they are posting that they are struggling in one way or another and all the way up to the point where they are posting that they will end their own life. i have the full study results that have not been published yet, it is cutting edge and it is the newest. i'm probably scaring my staff or even sharing this much, but i want to get the information out there. so we can make a difference it is a well-designed, rigorous study. i think it can help someone. >> how will you get it out? >> if we look at at a series of these things -- >> we also have a webinar. >> it is the 31st of this month. i can certainly send it out to eric and the media. that is at 2:00 in the afternoon. >> another thing that reminds me to share that has to do with what we are doing out of the stuff we have not done before his look at our civilian experts and what works. an existing methodology referred to as you are suicide which is a framework for reducing suicide in a given community.
we get questions about that, will we ever get to zero, will we ever stop trying and what number is ok to work towards? it is not a field where i can say we are looking for a 10% reduction over three years. we are not, we are looking to this framework really provides the implementation model at the hospital but extends more anddly to communities speaks to how you get everyone on a common platform for language, not using the word commit, for what scales to use. that is part of zero suicide, this common five question scale. that any community can use, whether it's the front
who worker or the volunteer walks you to your appointment or the janitor. that scale is part of your suicide and training the community so that there are multiple touch points. i cannot be more proud of the air force because it has shown great success. the air force agreed to adopt it at five hospitals, so we will test that model. we often look to our partners were evidence and we wonder will those models work? we have this unique population group and they are different in some respects, but we are not always sure. we're going to pilot test it with the air force and the pilot just now starting, we would be happy to have someone engage with us and whether it works at multiple touch points throughout the pilot project so that we can disseminate that along the way.
we are trying to find a reduction in those communities, , i turn it over to miss rosemary. >> there is a zero suicide toolkit if anyone wants to learn more about it. parts developed thanks in to sam's a who has been a champion for this. there are a number of private sector examples, including a large system in tennessee that with auced its suicide high risk medicaid population in the first 10 months and it's based on the henry ford model that serves our high risk population. so is grounded through early adopters and there's a lot of momentum there and i'm happy to
connect anyone to their. public-private partnership and a lot of people here are part of that. thehat is to supports ongoing infrastructure to help keep us going. serveanklin and rosemary on our executive committee. have about 40 other members, so it really is a collaborative effort and we are thankful to our rural and private partners. >> it is a really good resource for us. there's nothing we won't study and check whether it comes from ,rivate or other partners wherever we will study it and check and try to look at its relevance for our own population.
notesave taken lots of and first, fantastic to highlight the importance of partnerships and collaborations. we get in the space and talk to ourselves and find ourselves very interesting, but to actually widen the group and bring the services here, to bring our brothers and sisters in the fine arts, to bring together the national action alliance, it's a rich discussion and much can be learned from it will stop senator gordon smith taking his story and tragedy and turning it into a public services nothing short of remarkable. we are talking about setting realistic expectations. that96, when i worked msnbc, you say you have two
minutes to capture someone's attention. now i think it's about six or seven seconds. have to be respectful of the job that has to be done and i think the journalists reach out to us when a story breaks and how to make it easier. much is made of us versus them. all success is through relationships and with this bond between journalists and policymakers. that is what makes this so important. so that we can be successful in serving our communities. time is precious.
.e have one more challenge september is suicide prevention month. we have to pitch stories that are timely and relevant and captivated -- captivating. us, is very interesting to but it is largely something written on the third or fourth paragraph. we used to call it talk ability. what is that story? conversely, in journalism, help us understand what you are looking for. this has been a really rich dialogue and i think dr. franklin for bringing us together. >> thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its
caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> tonight on "q&a" -- nancy eisenberg discusses her book, "white trash, the history of class in america. >> there were poor, white and those places like indianapolis, chicago, and they were described in many of the same derogatory ways of poor blacks living in
the city and that is part of our history we do not talk about. we don't want to face up to the fact of how important class is. >> for campaign 2016, c-span continues on the road to the white house. >> we need serious leadership will stop this is not a reality tv show, it is as real as a gets. mr. trump: we will make america great again. --had, live coverage of the ahead, live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates. monday, september 26 of the first presidential debate live from hempstead new york. and then the vice presidential candidates, governor mike pence and senator tim kaine debate in farmville, virginia. on sunday, october 9, washington university in st. louis host the second presidential debate,
leading up to the third and final debate between hillary clinton and donald trump summit taking place at the university on october 19. live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debate on c-span will stop listen on the free radio app or watch anytime on demand at c-span.org. >> up next, c-span's issue spotlight. an in-depth look featuring programs from the c-span video archives stop this program focuses on the 2016 election and voting rights. and how voting rights are changing. >> some headlines in recent weeks. donald trump says he's afraid the election is going to be rigged. and he claims voter fraud lets people vote 10 times. here is the nominee at a rally in green bay, wisconsin.
mr. trump: you have to win this election. we have to win it. have to win. otherwise, our big movement was not as big as we thought. that is not good. that is why november 8, you've got to get everybody you know. and you know, know that there is voter id, a lot of places are not going to have photo id. what does that mean was marked you just keep walking in and voting? you have to be careful. >> "the hill" finding seven in 10 voters backing donald trump believe the election will have been rigged against him if he loses. but mr. obama called his assertions ridiculous. president obama: it is -- i