PhD Completion Seminar - Maria Ftanou
Centre for Mental Health PhD Completion Seminar
Media campaigns as a means of preventing suicide among young people
Presenter: Dr Maria Ftanou
Supervisors: Prof Jane Pirkis, Prof Nicola Reavley & A/Prof Matt Spittal
Date and time: 31st of March 4.00pm to 5.00pm
Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects young people, their families, their social networks and the broader community. Media campaigns are receiving increasing attention as an intervention for combating suicide, however they have been subject to minimal evaluation. The overall aim of Maria’s thesis was to build the evidence base to support effective suicide prevention media campaigns that promote awareness of suicide, improve attitudes towards suicide and encourage help-seeking behaviour among young people, without causing distress or other forms of harm.
To address this aim, four studies were conducted. The first three studies were designed to inform the development of three youth suicide prevention public service announcements and the fourth study tested their effectiveness. The findings from these studies suggest that there is a lack of consistent and robust evidence regarding the effectiveness of media campaigns. Recommendations were made to inform any future development of suicide prevention media messages targeting young people.