Suicide prevention: Reaching young people at risk
Schwartz, C., Barican, J., Yung, D., Gray-Grant, D., & Waddell, C.
Background: Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for youth in Canada. Consequently, understanding what leads to suicidality is essential in informing efforts to reduce this problem. We therefore set out to identify interventions designed to reduce suicide in young people identified as being at risk.
Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating targeted prevention interventions for young people. After applying our rigorous inclusion criteria, we accepted eight RCTs evaluating seven interventions.
Results: Attachment-Based Family Therapy, Multisystemic Therapy and Resourceful Adolescent Parent Program were the interventions that showed benefits for reducing suicidal behaviours, including attempts and/or ideation, in young people at final follow-up assessments.
Conclusions: There are effective ways to reduce the risk of suicide among young people – including offering comprehensive interventions and ensuring youth have access to adequate mental health services and supports.