Innovation summary

This innovation promotes research using a life course approach, exploring suicide trajectories focusing on youth (in progress). Also looking into the implication of the media as a main partner in the context of freedom of expression acquired following the revolution in Tunisia. The programme has been developed to better understand the causality of suicidal behaviour within Tunisia and to define a prevention strategy to integrate within the national strategy as a priority. 

Impact summary

  • 448 health professionals trained. These trainings were highly appreciated by the audience, specifically GPs. Hence, additional trainings have been scheduled upon the general request.
  • Improving media coverage of suicide: 5 training workshops for media professionals, including 1 for future journalists
  • Annual bulletin publication on the suicide rate in 2016 and 2017

“Ensemble pour que la vie l’emporte”

- Suicide prevention technical committee

Innovation details

The Tunisian Suicide Prevention Project started in 2015 focusing on the following main actions:

  • Development of the multi sector strategy through a participatory approach: elaborate a strategy draft, that still has to be validated and updated in the future
  • Training program for health professionals in screening and intervention with people in suicidal crisis including:
    - Training of trainers
    - Development of training guides
  • Raise awareness of media professionals and partnerships with key players:​
    - HAICA (Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication)​
    - IPSI (Institute of Press and Information Science)
    - Union of Journalists~
    - Training of media professionals as recommended by WHO
    - Animation of various media activities (TV and radio programs)
  • Establish data on suicide: National registry of suicide in partnership with the 10 forensic services in Tunisia, the National Institute of Health and the Informatics Center of the Ministry of Health
  • Promote research: the Health ministry supports a research project on causes of suicide focusing on youth in partnership with: Réseau Québécois sur le suicide, les troubles de l’humeur et les troubles associés (McGill Group for Suicide Studies)

Challenges

Stakeholders

  • Frequent changes in stakeholders related to the political transition context in Tunisia.

Resources

  • Coordination and steering difficulties related to the multi sector nature of the program (Social Affairs, Education, Media, Ministry of Women and Children, etc.)
  • Lack of dedicated human and financial resources.

Continuation

  • Update and validate the national strategy in terms of suicide prevention
  • Set up a dedicated team in MoH for the steering and execution of the actions initiated and to plan for the long term
  • Implementation of the full information system in order to get reliable and up-to-date data on suicide in Tunisia
  • Better comprehension of complex and specific causes of suicide in Tunisia  

Partners

  • WHO
  • HAICA (Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication)
  • IPSI (Institute of Press and Information Science)
  • Union of Journalists
  • Civil society
  • University Hospitals
  • National Institute of Health

Funders

  • Tunisia Ministry of Health
  • WHO

Evaluation methods

  • One of the primary objectives of the programme is to establish an information system for monitoring data and trends of self-harm to inform better suicide prevention initiatives within the country. 
  • ​The ‘National Registry of Suicide’ is still underway, implemented in partnership with the 10 forensic services in Tunisia, the National Institute of Health and the Informatics Center of the Ministry of Health.
  • An evaluation program of the capacity building has been prepared (post-tests) through questionnaires (just after the training and 2 to 3 months following the trainings) but could not unfortunately been implemented because of lack of sufficient resources dedicated to the program.

Impact details

  • There is insufficient data to be able to assess suicide trend before and after. However, 448 health professionals have been trained, 367 are GPs, 41 psychologists, 21 nurses, 9 psychiatrists, 10 other health professionals.
    • These trainings were highly appreciated by all and in particular by the GPs trained. Additional trainings have been scheduled upon request.
  • 5 training workshops for media professionals were delivered, including 1 for future journalists in order to improve media coverage of suicides.
  • There was also an annual bulletin publication on the suicide rate in 2016 and 2017 in Tunisia.

References

Photo Credit: A lifeguard hut on a beach in Tunisia. © Ville Hyvönen, Flikr
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Country

Tunisia

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