Low-cost scalable community-based suicide prevention initiatives:
THE SUICIDE FIRST AID GUIDELINES APPROACH
WHO (2014) and several scholars have indicated gatekeeper training as one of the main suicide prevention strategy while recommending to tailor its content and approach to the population. The Suicide First Aid Guidelines research and evidence-based associated resources led by Dr Erminia Colucci and developed in the last decade have built on this recommendation.
The guidelines were developed through a structured consultative process (supported by the Delphi-consensus method), which involved key suicide prevention and/or transcultural mental health professional and lived experience experts. Through this approach, warning signs and first aid actions were identified and included into the guidelines and accompanying infographic and training videos to be used for gatekeeper trainings for suicide prevention for people from immigrant and/or refugee backgrounds. These guidelines have been used in the past to provide training in Philippines, Japan and among people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Recent large-scale crises (including epidemics/pandemics and natural disasters) have highlighted even more the importance of developing community-based suicide prevention strategies, such as gatekeepers trainings, which can be delivered at low-cost while potentially be quickly scalable also through online/virtual platforms. For instance, during the COVID19 lockdown, the Suicide First Aid Guidelines PI/lead (Assoc. Prof Colucci Erminia) has been delivering both short introduction webinars to the Suicide First Aid Guidelines for India in collaboration with NIMHANS (Bangalore, India) as well as developing longer trainings based on the Suicide First Aid Guidelines for people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds in collaboration with Save the Children.
Further development of low-cost scalable community-based Suicide First Aid Guidelines for specific populations, and associated resources and trainings to be delivered face to face or virtually, might result even more important in the current and future epidemic/pandemic scenarios. However, it is imperative that such tools and trainings reflect the cultural and contextual specificities of the populations they are developed for and are, therefore, locally tailored rather than follow a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, as highlighted in our article.
Watch below a short-animation based on the Suicide First Aid Guidelines for people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds and find a list of freely available Guidelines and related journal articles (containing acknowledgments to the partners in these projects). The Suicide First Aid Guidelines for Indonesia and Pakistan are currently under development, please sign up to this website or return here for updates.
SUICIDE FIRST AID GUIDELINES FOR PEOPLE FROM IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE BACKGROUND