A social-emotional learning program for suicide prevention through animal-assisted intervention
Muela, A., Balluerka, N., Sansinenea, E., Machimbarrena, J.M., Garcia-Ormaza, J., Ibarretxe, N., ... Baigorri, P.
The aim of the study was to carry out a pilot implementation and evaluation of the OverCome-AAI program, a pioneering program for the prevention of suicidal behavior through animal-assisted interventions for young people with high risk factors for suicidal behavior. The study sample consisted of 30 adolescents (11 boys and 19 girls) aged between 14 and 17 years (Mean age = 15.50, SD = 1.60) from the Basque Country (Northern Spain). After the intervention, subjects presented reductions in suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and non-suicidal self-harm, as well as a greater predisposition to seek help. A reduction in the intensity of mental pain was also found, although no differences were observed in indicators of hopelessness and depression. The preliminary results obtained in this pilot study suggest that the OverCome-AAI program may be effective in reducing suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-harm in young people in residential care who present high risk factors for suicide.