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

Suicide awareness materials: do they help people with suicidal ideation?

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Hanzla Amir and Derek Tracy summarise a recent online randomised controlled trial on the effects of suicide awareness materials on people who feel suicidal, which finds that the Papageno effect is real and that stories of hope and recovery can help.

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Suicide risk assessment tools: what’s the current state of the evidence?

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Gabrielle Beaudry reviews a new national mixed methods study from the UK on suicide risk assessment tools used in mental health services.

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Increased suicide risk where race/ethnicity and sexual orientation intersect

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In his debut blog, Brendan Dunlop summarises a study finding a relationship between minority sexual orientation, ethnicity and suicide risk in adolescents.

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Therapeutic alliance important to help people at risk of suicide

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Charlotte Huggett summarises a naturalistic outpatient study which explores the impact that therapeutic alliance and negative responses from clinicians can have on suicidal ideation in people in therapy.

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Masculinity, depression and suicide risk in men with a history of childhood maltreatment

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In her debut blog, Cara Richardson explores whether masculine values are differentially linked to men’s mental health functioning, depending on exposure to childhood maltreatment.

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Risk factors for self-harm in prison

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In her debut blog, Rebecca Crook summarises a systematic review of individual and environmental risk factors for self-harm in prison.

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Alexithymia and suicide: can we find the right words to help each other?

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Hilary Norman summarises a novel systematic review and meta-analysis, which explores the relationship between alexithymia and suicide ideation and behaviour.

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Media reporting of suicide: do we need more than guidelines?

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Anna Sri summarises a recent systemic review and meta-analysis led by Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, which explores the association between media reporting of suicide and actual suicidal behaviour in the community; a phenomenon known as the Werther effect.

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Home treatment by crisis resolution teams can prevent hospital admission, according to Swiss research

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Emmeline Lagunes Cordoba and Magdalena Skowronska review a recent Swiss RCT, which found that crisis resolution teams led to fewer hospital days per patient, but did not prevent hospital admission entirely.

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Digital interventions for suicidal thinking: a tale of two reviews

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In his debut blog, Wouter van Ballegooijen summarises two recent systematic reviews on digital interventions for suicidal thinking, which include more or less the same research, but come to quite different conclusions.

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