Authors: Erin Kelly
Event: 2023 TheMHS Forum
Subject: Personality-targeted prevention of suicidal ideation in secondary school students
Type of resource: Video
Abstract: Optimal prevention for suicide must be delivered early and made easily accessible to all in need. Many young people who experience suicidal thoughts do not access treatment or seek help, highlighting the need for prevention to be delivered outside primary care or mental health service settings. Schools are the ideal setting to implement prevention, allowing for broad reach to most young people. However, few evidence-based prevention programs for suicide are available in schools. Targeting adolescents high in personality traits predictive of suicidal behaviour is a promising avenue for intervention, through teaching skills in addressing unhelpful patterns of thinking and risky ways of coping. This presentation will provide an overview of an innovative, personality-targeted prevention program for emotional and behavioural issues in adolescents, called the Preventure program, as well as recent findings for the program in reducing suicidal ideation in secondary school students in Sydney. Preventure includes two 90 minute small group workshops designed to upskill adolescents with personality-targeted coping skills. In this study, it was found that 3 years post-intervention, students that received Preventure reported significantly reduced odds of suicidal ideation compared to those in the no-Preventure control group (OR=0.50, 95% CI=0.66-0.97). Results of this study indicate that personality-targeted prevention delivered early in secondary schools can have a lasting impact on suicidal ideation during adolescence.
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