PHD Completion Seminar Feb 6

Building a suicide prevention campaign aimed at family and friends of a person at risk of suicide

Thursday 6  February 12.30pm-1.30pm ,  Room 410, Level 4, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton

The rate of Suicide in Australia has steadily increased over the last decade and novel approaches to suicide prevention are needed. Research evidence suggests that people at risk of suicide often communicate their suicidal thoughts and intentions to family members and friends before they make a suicide attempt. However, family members and friends can be uncertain how best to interpret and respond to this communication. A suicide prevention  campaign aimed at promoting identification of people at risk of suicide and positive helping responses among family members and friends could therefore have significant positive effects for both those at risk and those wanting to offer support who are unclear about how to do so.

Angela’s PhD research comprises five studies aimed at identifying suicide prevention messages to include in a family and friends-focused suicide prevention campaign. This research has examined Australian community members’ confidence and intentions to help a person at risk of suicide, actions taken toward a person at risk of suicide, and Australians’ beliefs in suicide ‘myths’. The research program brings together perspectives of people who are at risk of suicide, those who have helped a person at risk and suicide prevention professionals. It also combines a number of research methods, including a nationally representative computer-assisted telephone survey of 3000 Australians, an expert consensus study, and an online questionnaire study. Using the combined findings from these five studies, Angela makes recommendations regarding the key suicide prevention messages that should be included in a national family and friends-focused suicide prevention campaign. These findings have been translated into a national suicide prevention social media campaign, which will also be discussed.

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