The “Talk-to-Me” MOOC intervention for suicide prevention and mental health education among tertiary students: Protocol of a multi-site cross-over randomised controlled trial
Milbourn, B., Black, M.H., Afsharnejad, B., Snyman, Z., Baker-Young, E., Thompson, C., ... Girdler, S.
Mental health problems are common among tertiary education students, with concerning levels of suicide ideation frequently observed in this population. There is a need for evidence-based mental health education and suicide prevention programs designed to meet the specific needs of these students. The “Talk-to-Me” Mass Open Online Course (MOOC) is a strengths-based mental health education program underpinned by a six-phase model for managing a suicidal crisis.
To evaluate the efficacy of the “Talk-to-Me” MOOC in improving student knowledge of appropriate responses to suicide crisis via a randomised control trial (RCT) comparing tertiary education health science and education students attending the program to a waitlist control group. Overall, 170 will be screened and randomly allocated to either the “Talk-to-Me” MOOC or a waitlist control group, with data collection occurring at three-time points (baseline, 10-weeks and 24-weeks from baseline) over one year. The primary outcome will be participants’ knowledge and responses to suicidal statements as measured by the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory. Secondary outcomes will be knowledge of mental health and coping skills as well as the overall utility of the program.
This pragmatic RCT will demonstrate the efficacy of the “Talk-to-Me” MOOC in improving the students’ ability to respond to suicidal and mental health concerns compared to the waitlist group. This design will enable rigorous evaluation of the “Talk-to-Me” MOOC, contributing to a greater understanding of the online-delivered safe-paced suicide prevention programs for tertiary students.