Suicide Prevention Strategies: A 10-Year Systematic Review

June 17, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Science Daily

According to a 10-year systematic review of suicide prevention strategies recently published in The Lancet Psychiatry, there is a strong evidence base for the effectiveness of certain interventions and a paucity of research to support the success of others. An international team of researchers from the Expert Platform on Mental Health, Focus on Depression, and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology reviewed nearly 1,800 studies published between 2005 and 2015. They found that restricting access to lethal means was an effective suicide prevention strategy, especially limiting quantities of analgesics available to patients and setting up barriers at potential jumping sites. Pharmacological treatments supported by the data included clozapine and lithium in certain populations, and antidepressants in people over the age of 75. The study also looked at the effectiveness of gatekeeper training, primary care physician education, and telephone and internet helplines. Said author Joseph Zohar, “We found that there is no single way of preventing suicide; however implementation of the evidence-supported methods described in this study, including public and physician education and awareness together with appropriate legislation, has the potential to change public health strategies in suicide prevention plans. With these measures, we can significantly reduce the number of deaths due to suicide.”

Spark Extra! For more information, read the study abstract.