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:

SFAG  Plain Language Statement: English version
 
SFAG  Plain Language Statement: Sinhala version
 
SFAG  Plain Language Statement: Tamil version

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 ecolucci@unimelb.edu.au  or Ms Saranga De Silva at sarangad@student.unimelb.edu.au.  The recruitment of participants will be concluded by the end of April.