Why schedule Steve
Stewart to speak on teen suicide prevention? June
brings a unique combination to the table.
experience. Steve's son,
Travis, committed suicide at the age of 19. Steve reluctantly
stands where we all hope you never will. Steve has decades of
practice at dealing with the horrific and he wants to give you
the lessons without the experience.
2. Steve has 30 years
of experience as a professional speaker, addressing audiences
for 30 years on marketing topics with 3,500 speeches and workshops
across North America and Western Europe.
3. As an author, Steve
has sold 1.25 million books and 3+ million audio recordings since
1986. His next book is due late this fall, Teen Suicide
Prevention, is written directly to and about American
We don't know
of any other speaker on the subject of teen suicide who has this
combination of experiences. No one we know comes to this FROM
personal suicide experience, combined with professional speaking
hope they never do ...)
son, Travis, took his own life at the age of 19, the topic of
suicide became literally unspeakable. It took seven years just
to say this aloud in the presence of others.
truth is that talking openly and honestly about teen suicide
reduces the chance that the other teens will attempt taking their
own lives. Talking about suicide de-mystifies it, moving it
away from available options when a teen with a borderline
desire to end the pain considers this pointless, painful option.
Remember, they don't think like we do.
is the problem of teen suicide?
Very. Many say
it calls for urgent attention. Most authorities say the
problem in the recent few years has spun out of control.
- The Centers
for Disease Control reports a 40 year study disclosing that from
the mid 1950s to mid 1990s, teen suicides grew by 600%. Yes,
that is a 600% increase. And that was BEFORE the invention
of social media which has made cyber bullying and FaceBook possible.
suicide is the second or third most common cause of death among
teens, depending on location. Here in San Diego County it is
the #2 most common cause of death among teens. Among US college
students, suicide the #2 most common cause of death. Rates
among Native Americans are 10x that of white teens!
- The National
Assn of State Legislatures reports that in the three years
2010-2012, suicide among teens grew by 7% among 15-16 year olds
but by 100% among 12-13 year olds. This is a stunning
number - a 100% increase in just 3 years.
- A ten year
study published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Assn
in 2013 answers the question Is suicide contagious?
The answer is YES! Young teen simply hearing of the suicide
death of "someone like me" are FIVE TIMES as likely to have suicide ideation,
wondering "maybe that's my solution, too?" We cannot
control access to the news, but we CAN be part of the discussion
about this tragic "solution."
is there a major gender difference between suicide attempts and
Real life examples
of how teens have beaten the odds, and where they have not.
How do you best
help your friend who is fed up?
How do you recognize
suicide risk factors and warning signs in others? Why do those
considering suicide rarely see the dangers in themselves?
When are teens
over their heads, in need of help?
What MUST teens
say and do every time they know of someone thinking of suicide?
wants to die. Suiciders just want the pain to stop."
And if there
is enough time ... we will talk about how teens can organize
personally and collectively to prevent suicides from being attempted.
you see VIDEO of Steve presenting?
Steve NOT talk about?
Some heavy topics
don't belong in teen presentations.
- We do not focus
on specific methods of committing suicide. Also, if the media
would avoid reporting all details, it would help prevent copy-cat
- We know that
religious faith helps prevent suicides at all ages. But if your
students together as public school students, we will skip references
to faith as a positive factor. However, if your students are
gathered together as a church or private group (to include scouting),
the role of faith in preventing suicide is a legitimate discussion
hear this presentation?
This is ripe
for all students in grades 7-12 plus all four years of college
study. Why? Because that is who is at risk.
college students, suicide is the #2 most common cause of death.
For high school students, suicide is #2 or #3, depending on the
location. Middle school age students will hear a modified version.
Why so young? Because middle-school is ground zero for
bullying and cyber-bullying. And because when attacked, middle
schoolers are more vulnerable than older teens.
Please, if there
is a possibility of bringing parents and teens together for a
suicide prevention talk, SAME room SAME time, then please invite
them. This is a conversation parents and teens should be having
in 8 teens reports having suicidal thoughts in the last year.
One in 12 teens report making suicide plans last year. One in
25 teens self-report making specific written plans on
why, when, where and how. We cannot prevent teens from thinking
about the suicide. But parents and teachers need to be part of
the conversation any teen is having on the subject! Or, schedule
the parents separately for good effect.
options does Steve offer?
__ Intended for teens
__ Intended for teens and parents together
__ Intended for teens following a suicide attempt or death in
__ Intended as a sequence of two or three meetings/presentations
over a few months. This includes small group discussions among
teens including what-would-you-do scenarios and at least one
of the meets held jointly with parents also in attendance.
time do we need?
than 20 minutes has too little value. 40-45 minutes at a time
allows for a brief but valuable, positive discussion. We can
provide up to four 45 minute presentations without ever covering
the same material twice. So if you like, schedule Steve two or
three times, perhaps weeks apart.
Costs are very
nominal - such that they are never a reason not to do this.
presentations are in response to a recent, local teen suicide.
Others seek to prevent the next one. I look forward to having
time with the teens in your care. Please consider inviting parents
to attend as well. Please let us help you prevent your next
MA, Speech Communication;
two BAs, SDSU. 3,500 professional speeches in North America,
Mexico, the Caribbean and Western Europe. 1.25 million books
and 3 million+ audio programs sold since 1986. Now at work on
book #14, Blood Sport: A Direct Letter to the Teens of America
from a Father Who Knows the Curse of Teen Suicide.