Ten recommendations for effective school-based, adolescent, suicide prevention programs.
Surgenor, P.W.G., Quinn, P., & Hughes, C.
School-based suicide prevention programs are one of the key strategies to address suicide in adolescence. The number of programs increased rapidly during the 1980s and was largely designed for high school- or middle school-aged students (11–18 years old), due to the vulnerable time and predictive risk of future suicidal ideation or health problems in later life. However, key recommendations from these studies are often obscured by the volume of such programs, resulting in significant challenges for program designers. This study aimed to undertake a review of the numerous suicide prevention programs implemented globally in recent years to provide informed recommendations for the development of effective school-based programs for adolescents. The study employed a scoping review process to enable the deconstruction of large or complex issues to promote comprehension and ease of interpretation. A search of online international databases using combinations of key words (variations in ‘suicide,’ ‘school,’ ‘program,’ and ‘prevention’) within a specified time frame (January 2010 to June 2015) identified 397 articles. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses were used to identify relevant articles at each stage of the review process, resulting in a total of 20 studies addressing 13 different school programs. Results were presented using established program categories (as education/awareness, gatekeeper, peer leadership, skills, screening/assessment) and informed ten recommendations that address the design, content, delivery, and review of school-based suicide prevention programs for adolescents.