S50: Mental Health First Aid for the Suicidal Person: An Uncontrolled Trial.

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By September 11, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Kathy Bond, Fairlie Cottrill

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Mental Health First Aid for the Suicidal Person: An Uncontrolled Trial.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Kathy Bond is a Research Officer at Mental Health First Aid Australia and Kathy holds an honorary fellowship at the University of Melbourne. Together with Fairlie Cottrill, they conduct Delphi expert consensus studies that inform MHFA curriculum and conduct pilot evaluations on newly developed courses.

This presentation will report the final results of an uncontrolled trial of the Mental Health First Aid for the Suicidal Person course.
This course is based on guidelines developed using the Delphi research method (1); a systematic way of determining expert consensus. The experts in this study were people with a lived experience of suicidal thoughts or attempts, and mental health professionals.
Mental Health First Aid Australia and the University of Melbourne invited approximately 300 course participants to complete pre-course and post-course surveys. The surveys measure beliefs about suicide, intentions and actions taken to assist a suicidal person, suicide stigma and course satisfaction. The measures were based on other previous Mental Health First Aid courses (2).
Preliminary analysis showed that after completing the course, participants demonstrate increased confidence to help a person who is suicidal and increased likelihood of asking:
• direct questions about suicidal thoughts
• about current plans for suicide
• about past suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
Participants were less likely to wait and see if things got worse before speaking to the person and less likely to make unhelpful comments.
This presentation will report on the final results of this study.

Learning Objectives Learning Objective 1: Will answer the question: What is one method for evaluating a suicide prevention intervention?
Learning Objective 2: Will answer the question: How can suicide prevention programs be informed by a consensus driven evidence-base, incorporating the expertise of people with lived and professional experience of suicide?

Ross A, Kelly C, & Jorm A. Re-development of mental health first aid guidelines for suicidal ideation and behavior: a Delphi study. (2014). BMC Psychiatry, 14 (1).
Morgan AJ, Ross A, & Reavley NJ. (2018). Systematic review and meta-analysis of Mental Health First Aid training: Effects on knowledge, stigma, and helping behaviour. PloS One, 13 (5).

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