Suicide prevention in adolescents: a controlled study of the effectiveness of a school-based psycho-educational program.
Portzky, G.~~Van Heeringen, K.~~~
Background: Psycho-educational programs are among the most commonly applied suicide prevention approaches for young people. This study examined the effectiveness of these programs in a controlled study by assessing the effect on knowledge, attitudes, coping and hopelessness. Method: Fourteen- to 18-year-old students were administered structured questionnaires before and after the program to assess the effect on knowledge, attitudes, coping and hopelessness. Results: The program had no effect on coping styles and levels of hopelessness. However, a positive effect on knowledge could be identified and an interaction effect of the program with gender on attitudes was also found. A negative impact of the program could not be found. Results indicated effects of gender and pre-test on knowledge, attitudes and coping. Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that psycho-educational programs in schools may influence knowledge about suicide and attitudes towards suicidal persons but may not affect the use of coping styles or levels of hopelessness.