Suicide First Aid Guidelines for Asian countries and CALD populations
Evidence on which suicide prevention programs are effective is limited. However, strategies that aim to provide specific education for all groups defined as ‘gatekeepers’ has been indicated as one of the most promising suicide prevention strategies.
Studies have been carried out by Dr Colucci, A/Prof Minas and collaborators to develop suicide first aid guidelines in Asian countries, such as India, Japan and the Philippines, and for people from migrant and refugee background. Consensus on action statements that could be useful for the members of the public to provide immediate assistance to someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in suicidal behaviors was achieved using the Delphi method. The guidelines were made freely available on the Mental Health First Aid website and published in the International Journal of Mental Health Systems. These guidelines have formed the basis in the development of suicide prevention training programs in the Philippines and in Japan.
Sri Lanka has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and although the rates are decreasing it is still a serious public health problem in the country. Global & Multicultural Mental Health (GCMH) has commenced a research project in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health, Sri Lanka (NIMH) entitled: Development of mental health first aid guidelines for helping a suicidal person in Sri Lanka: A Delphi Study.
The study will identify and recruit people in Sri Lanka with relevant personal and/or professional expertise to develop guidelines for members of the public to recognise suicide warning signs and assist a suicidal person in Sri Lanka until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.
Find below the Plain Language Statement with further information about this project:
The expert panel: The expert panel will be composed of professionals - people who have suicide prevention expertise through their clinical and/or research experience in Sri Lanka - and suicide prevention advocates with lived experience – people in Sri Lanka who have experienced suicidal ideation or made a suicide attempt in the past, or people in Sri Lanka who were close to someone who engaged in suicidal behaviour (i.e. ideation or plan, attempt or loss).
Interested? If you feel that your personal or professional experience make you suitable to join the expert panel or would like to nominate someone you know in Sri Lanka as an expert panel member, please contact Dr Erminia Colucci at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms Saranga De Silva at email@example.com. The recruitment of participants will be concluded by the end of April.