Year: 2023 Source: British Dental Journal. (2023). 234(8), 601-605. SIEC No: 20231482
Aims and objectives The aim of this Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle was to establish if undergraduate students believe they have a role to play in suicide risk assessment, and to discuss the implementation of suicide risk prevention into the undergraduate dental curriculum. Data gathered informed development of a subsequent suicide risk assessment educational workshop. Methodology An online questionnaire was disseminated to undergraduate students as part of a quality improvement service evaluation within a UK dental hospital and school. This sought to gain information on attitudes to suicide prevention, previous suicide awareness training, and the appetite and potential barriers to future training. Results A response rate of 23% (n = 30) was achieved. In total, 87% of undergraduate students responding reported having no experience or training in the identification of suicidal patients, 97% of respondents expressed a desire for training, and 80% stated not knowing what to do if a patient disclosed suicidal thoughts during an appointment. Conclusion The dental team have a role to play in suicide risk assessment and the signposting of at-risk patients to appropriate services. To embed this within daily practice, awareness and training must be introduced to undergraduate curricula.