Suicide intervention programs like educational workshops, training those who come into contact with at-risk young people, screening for risk, and linking people to services, etc are actually quite effective in reducing suicide risk among the youth and should be continued based on strategic and evidence-based research.
According to a thorough study looking at the global impact of suicide prevention techniques on young people, youth-specific interventions carried out in clinical, educational, and community contexts can successfully reduce suicide-related behaviours among young people at risk.
The comprehensive analysis looked at 99 separate trials, of which 52 were done in clinical settings, 31 in educational or professional settings, and 15 in community settings. It found that interventions given in these contexts appeared to lessen young people’s thoughts of self-harm and suicide. The review, by researchers at Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, has been published this week in the UK journal E Clinical Medicine.
Integrated approaches to suicide prevention
Numerous school-based studies revealed that integrated methods, particularly those that coupled suicide prevention education workshops with case detection intended to identify young people at risk, were the interventions with the greatest promise for preventing suicide. Large-scale studies that integrated various elements also had the most promise in community settings. Once more, these often-comprised programs for universal education, instruction for individuals who interact with young people who are at risk, risk assessment, and service referrals where necessary.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr Jo Robinson, said the study findings challenged the pessimism that often pervades discussions around suicide prevention. “At a time when we’re seeing suicide rates around the world growing, this study shows us that we should feel hopeful that interventions specifically designed to reduce suicide risk in young people do work and can impact on suicide ideation and self-harm,” Dr Robinson said.
Investment in suicide prevention should be directed in a strategic way
“In Australia, we’ve seen a lot of investment in suicide prevention, but It’s very important that this investment is directed in a strategic way and is being invested in evidence-based interventions,” said Dr Robinson. “That’s why this study is important, it will guide not just clinical services and interventions and research, but policy makers as well to ensure that we’re putting funds into evidence-based suicide prevention interventions that work.”
Gaps in suicide prevention approaches
Despite the encouraging findings of the study, Dr Robinson said the research had identified some clear gaps in suicide prevention approaches. “Many studies simply tested interventions that had previously been designed for adults as opposed to young people specifically, there was also an absence of studies that included indigenous, same sex attracted and/or gender diverse young people and those who live in low to middle-income countries,” Dr Robinson said.
“These findings suggest that important opportunities for youth suicide prevention are currently being missed and need to be addressed by researchers, research funders, and policymakers if we are to successfully address the rising rates of suicide among young people worldwide.” The research was supported by the Future Global Generations Fund, William Buckland Foundation, National Health and Medical Research Council, Auckland Medical Research Foundation, a Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowship and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Materials provided by Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. “Pessimism around youth suicide prevention approaches is unfounded.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181102095518.htm>.
Help is here:
Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline Kiran (1800-599-0019)
Name of the Organisation: Vandrevala Foundation
Vandrevala Foundation is a non-profit that partners with organizations to help communities thrive by providing education and healthcare. Vandrevala Foundation launched a mental health helpline in India in 2009 to offer free psychological counselling and crisis mediation to anyone who is experiencing distress due to depression, trauma, mood disorders, chronic illness, and relationship conflict.
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +91 9999 666 555
Name of the Organisation: Aasra
AASRA volunteers conduct workshops on different levels with high-risk target groups eg school, college students, highly-stressed employees of call centres, financial institutions, multinationals etc. AASRA volunteers have Outreach programs to reach out to the multitudes who may choose to end their lives because of chronic suffering or terminal illness.
Contact: email: email@example.com