Year: 2023 Source: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. (2023). 58, 871–881. SIEC No: 20231318
Purpose: In Australia and elsewhere, suicide rates among construction workers remain high. Construction workplaces are thus an important setting for targeted suicide prevention programs. This study aimed to compare suicide prevention literacy and help-seeking intentions among participants receiving face-to-face suicide prevention training, with those receiving face-to-face training augmented by a smartphone application. Methods: A two-arm randomised controlled trial of a smartphone suicide prevention intervention was conducted among construction workers in four Australian states (trial registration number: ACTRN12619000625178). All participants received face-to-face training and were randomised to the control condition (face-to-face only, n = 575), or MATESmobile condition (face-to-face + smartphone application, n = 509). Surveys administered at baseline and 3-month follow-up measured suicide prevention literacy and help-seeking intentions for personal/emotional problems and suicidal thoughts. A mixed-model repeated measures (MMRM) analysis included all 1084 randomised participants. Results: Outcomes did not differ significantly for suicide prevention literacy, nor help-seeking intentions from formal sources, informal sources outside the workplace, or no one (did not intend to seek help from anyone). However, relative to those in the control condition, those in the MATESmobile group showed greater increase in help-seeking intentions for emotional problems from a MATES worker/Connector (mean difference 0.54, 95% CI 0.22-0.87) and help-seeking intentions for suicidal thoughts from a workmate (mean difference 0.47, 95% CI 0.10-0.83) or MATES worker/Connector (mean difference 0.47, 95% CI 0.09-0.85). Conclusion: Results indicate that the MATESmobile application, together with face-to-face training, is beneficial in enhancing help-seeking intentions from MATES workers/Connectors and workmates to a greater extent than face-to-face training only. While this research provides some evidence that smartphone applications may support suicide prevention training, further research is needed.