Year: 2016 Source: International Journal of Mental Health Systems. (2016). DOI:10.1186/s13033-016-0085-3 SIEC No: 20160459

Sri Lanka has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Gatekeeper programs aimed at specific target groups could be a promising suicide prevention strategy in the country. The aim of this study was to develop guidelines that help members of the public to provide first aid to persons in Sri Lanka who are at risk of suicide.
The Delphi method was used to elicit consensus on potential helping statements to include in the guidelines. These statements describe information members of the public should have and actions they can take to help a person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Of the total 531 statements presented, 304 were endorsed. These statements were used to develop the suicide first aid guidelines for Sri Lanka.


By engaging Sri Lankans who are experts in the field of mental health or suicide this research developed culturally appropriate guidelines for providing mental health first aid to a person at risk of suicide in Sri Lanka. The guidelines may serve as a basis for developing training for members of the public to provide mental health first aid to persons at risk of suicide as part of Sri Lanka’s suicide prevention strategy.