Year: 2021 Source: Psychiatry Investigations. (2021). 18(11), 1076-1081. doi: 10.30773/pi.2021.0176. SIEC No: 20210850

Objective: This study investigated the effect of suicide prevention education on attitudes toward suicide among police officers.

Methods: We used an anonymous questionnaire for 518 officers and surveyed the demographic profiles and examined attitudes toward suicide utilizing the Attitudes Towards Suicide Scale (ATTS) (1=totally agree, 5=totally disagree). Our study divided participants into two groups, based on whether or not they had received suicide prevention education, and examined the differences in attitudes toward suicide between the groups.

Results: Of the total population, 247 (47.7%) officers had received suicide prevention education. The education group thought suicide as a predictable matter, disagreeing significantly more with the ATTS factor ‘suicide is unpredictable’ (3.36 vs. 3.35; p=0.001) compared with the no education group. Also, the education group more perceived suicide as a cry for help and at the same time disagreed more with the notion ‘suicidal thoughts will never disappear’ (2.08 vs. 2.26; p=0.025, 3.2 vs. 3.05; p=0.035, respectively).

Conclusion: Officers with experience in suicide prevention education showed more positive attitude toward suicide and suicide prevention. These findings suggest a need to organize more opportunities of suicide prevention educations, such as making the training mandatory for police officers.