Seminar/Webinar: Preventing Suicide in Low Resources Settings
According to the World Health Organization report: Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, over 800,000 people die by suicide each year, globally, and many more attempt suicide. The impact on families, friends and communities is far-reaching for many years forward. In public health, suicide often fails to be prioritized as a major problem and despite an increase in research and understanding about suicide, the stigma around suicide prevents people from seeking help when needed and health systems services often fail to provide timely and effective help.
This year’s World Suicide Prevention Day was marked by the theme Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives. The Mental Health Innovation Network and the LSE Health hosted a seminar - “Preventing Suicide in Low Resource Settings” - to honour this day. The seminar brought together a distinguished panel of experts with experience in Africa and Asia. Speakers discussed their experiences of developing successful suicide prevention interventions and national-level suicide prevention guidelines in low resource settings.
Dr Bantjes provided a brief overview of the research that is needed to develop suicide prevention interventions based on his experiences working in a hospital based environment. He also highlighted the mismatch between the needs of suicide attempters and current services in South Africa and called attention to the need for greater psychological input and hospital-based suicide prevention interventions that can be offered to patients without necessitating hospital admissions.
Dr Erminia Colucci | Lecturer, Centre of Psychiatry at Queen Mary University of London in the UK
Through a recent collaboration between a panel of Sri Lankan experts, the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit at the University of Melbourne, and Mental Health First Aid, Sri Lanka saw the development of its first set of guidelines for suicide prevention. Dr Colucci was a key driving force through this process and launched the guidelines during her presentation.
Photo credit: Mustafa Segaf, 2012, courtesy of Photoshare