suicide

Suicide is the act of intentionally ending your life.

There are three levels of intervention in suicide; 1) universal 2) selective and 3) indicated.

Universal interventions target everyone in a defined population. They aim to increase awareness about suicide, remove barriers to care, promote help-seeking and encourage protective factors. Some examples of universal interventions include school-based interventions and national initiatives such as restricted access to lethal means. Evidence suggests that universal interventions are effective at increasing awareness and helping skills, though there is little evidence to suggest they’re effective at reducing suicide-related thoughts or behaviours.

Selective interventions address specific groups at increased risk for suicidal behaviours, for instance those with mental health problems or harmful use of substances. To date, there have been few studies into selective interventions and results are mixed.

Indicated interventions target high-risk individuals already displaying signs of suicidal behaviour. Examples include brief contact interventions (e.g. crisis cards) and talking therapies. Evidence suggests that brief contact interventions are effective for young people in clinical settings. A network meta-analysis conducted in 2021 found that the most effective talking therapies for suicide and self-harm in young people are dialectical behavioural therapies and mentalisation-based therapies.

 

Our suicide Blogs

We can safely deliver therapy to suicidal inpatients, but we still don’t know if it works

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John Baker reviews a pilot randomised controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural suicide prevention therapy for mental health inpatients, which found that the therapy was acceptable and feasible to deliver.

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Communicating emotions and reducing harm amongst male prisoners

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Rebecca Crook reviews a recent qualitative study exploring the difficulties that male prisoners sometimes have in identifying and discussing their feelings about suicide and violence.

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Lived experience in suicide prevention intervention development: review of a decade’s worth of research

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Eleanor Bailey and Jo Robinson explain that most suicide prevention interventions are developed without the involvement of people who have lived experience of suicide. They go on to make a set of recommendations for how future intervention research in suicide prevention is conducted and reported.

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Blue Whale Challenge and suicide contagion

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Holly Crudgington reviews a qualitative study that examines the self-harm and suicide contagion effects of the Blue Whale Challenge on YouTube and Twitter.

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Online support for people with suicidal thoughts: what do users think?

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Laura Caven reviews a recent qualitative study that looks at what people think of the online support that is available from charities and other organisations for people with suicidal thoughts.

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Talking about self-harm and suicide in primary care: the views of young people

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In her debut blog, Jo Lockwood summarises a qualitative paper which finds that young people want GPs to initiate conversations about self-harm and suicide in primary care.

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Suicide in children and young people can happen without warning

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Shirley Reynolds reviews a records study which finds that around one third of children and young people who die by suicide have no explicit prior risk.

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Eating disorder symptoms and suicidality: is there a significant association within the student population?

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In his debut blog, Jack Wainwright explores a study that finds an association between eating disorders and suicidality in US college students.

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Do prisons have more room for emotions than we think? Staff views on the link between suicide, violence and emotions

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Eleana Frisira reviews a recent qualitative study, which asks prison staff for their views about the role of emotions in prisoner suicide and violence.

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Assessing digital risk: a mixed-methods study assessing psychiatry trainee’s experiences, views and understanding

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Georgie Parker reviews a mixed-methods study exploring psychiatry trainees understanding, experience of and competence assessing and managing digital risk.

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