Associate Professor Carina Chan and colleagues have developed a suite of free evidence-based suicide prevention education resources for the community.
“Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians aged 15-44 years, and the fourth leading cause of death for ages 45+,” says Associate Professor Chan.
“Evidence shows that 70-90% of those who die by suicide indicated their risk to family and friends, which makes them important gatekeepers in the community who would benefit from suicide prevention education. This statistic also highlights the importance of addressing bystander effects, where a person believes that someone else close to the suicidal individual will take action.”
Current suicide education resources are not always easily accessible to the public and are delivered via expensive and time-consuming workshops. “They are also not always driven by evidence-based research, with very little attention on addressing bystander effects,” adds Associate Professor Chan.
“In response to this, we have developed a suite of suicide prevention education resources underpinned by the Bystander Intervention Model that incorporate both scientific evidence and lived experience,” she says.
“The materials focus on building individuals’ capacity to recognise suicide signs, to interpret them as important and urgent, to assume responsibility to help, and to have confidence in helping. Our vision is to increase capacity and awareness of the public to detect and respond to suicide risk to reduce suicide rates in the community.”
The resources have since been translated into to a professional website, The Suicide Response Project, that anyone can freely access and includes adaptations for at-risk populations such as autism and LGBTIQA+.
“We are currently collaborating with mental health services to disseminate our resources and our next steps are to identify other avenues to share them more broadly so they can be of benefit to as many people as possible.”
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