Year: 2009 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v.39, no.1, (February 2009), p.82-90 SIEC No: 20090311

An integrative suicide prevention program was implemented to tackle an outbreak of visitor charcoal burning suicides in Cheung Chau, an island in Hong Kong, in 2002. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the program. The numbers of visitor suicides reduced from 37 deaths in the 51 months prior to program implementation to 6 deaths in the 42 months post-implementation period. The number of visitor suicide pacts decreased from 7 pacts (15 individuals) to 1 pact (2 individuals). No statistically significant differences in the numbers of visitor suicide attempts and resident suicides were observed in the two time periods. No statistically significant changes in visitor suicides during the study period were observed on the comparison islands. The consistency and timing of reduction in visitor suicides correlated with the development and delivery of the integrative program on the intervention island, suggesting a causal association between program delivery and reduction of visitor suicides. The possibility of displacement seems small because there was no increase in visitor suicides on the comparison islands during the study period. This integrative approach in preventing target-specific suicides may serve as an example for other communities to develop suicide prevention programs that make use of the existing local resources.