Episode #2: What – Changes in the BEAT

In order to ‘see something’, it helps to be actively and intentionally looking for something… and to have a good, clear idea of what you are looking for. If you are trying to be alert to too many possibilities the likelihood is that you will be overwhelmed, burn out and give up looking. For that reason, I highly recommend that as a First Aider, focus your attention on 4 aspects of a person…and make sure you do not miss a B-E-A-T about any of them. These aspects are BEHAVIOR, EMOTIONS, APPEARANCE and THOUGHTS. And, to make this even simpler, when you are considering these things, be sure to pay your greatest attention to CHANGES in those 4 dimensions for the person. It is CHANGES in the BEAT that can provide the surest support for any concern you might have.

If there are significant and/or prolonged changes in someone’s behavior, emotions, appearance, or thoughts that is causing them distress of some kind… this is what you are looking for. And remember, the most important thought to pay attention to would be any thought(s) about suicide or self-harm.

To be more effective in seeing something or assessing, we have talked about who and what we should be paying attention to. Now lets consider where we should be particularly on the lookout.

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