Special Interest Group - Development of Effective National Suicide Prevention Strategy and Practice
Co-Chair: Prof. Steve Platt
Co-Chair: Prof. Jane Pirkis
The World Health Organization encourages all its members to take effective action to prevent suicidal behaviour, but recognises that there is no one way forward. Countries that have relatively comprehensive national response are advised to focus on evaluation and improvement, updating knowledge with new data, and emphasising effectiveness and efficiency. Countries with existing suicide prevention activities should identify what is already in place and where there are gaps that need to be filled. Countries yet to undertake suicide prevention activities should concentrate on identifying and engaging stakeholders, developing activities where there is greatest need or where resources already exist, and improving surveillance.
IASP and WHO recognise the need to provide expert support to countries, especially low and middle income countries [LAMICs], where suicide prevention action has not yet been initiated or where activities are being undertaken in a non-strategic and uncoordinated manner.
Objectives: The The objectives of this SIG are to:
- establish an active forum of international experts who will support the development of effective suicide prevention strategy and practice in countries (especially lower- and middle-income countries) where, historically, there has been little or no suicide prevention activity;
- develop and maintain an online resource library which will include guidance on evidence-informed suicide prevention interventions (both top-down and bottom-up approaches), evaluation protocols and good practice manuals;
- develop guidance for establishing, implementing and evaluating community-level suicide prevention activities in countries where a national strategy is not currently feasible;
- support and mentor communities, regions and countries in their development of suicide prevention programmes (strategic and operational elements;) and
- collaborate with relevant organisations, ministries and NGOs in LAMICs in the development of effective suicide prevention strategy and practice.
Planned activities for 2017: recruitment of new members; finalisation of the SIG’s initial programme of work; establishment of Task Forces (to collate documents for the resource library; to evaluate current models and develop guidance for establishing, implementing and evaluating community-level suicide prevention activities; and to identify and consider communities and countries which would benefit from SIG support and mentorship); and the planning and organisation of a potential pilot meeting of Health Ministers in the Caribbean basin in 2018 on developing national suicide prevention strategies.
Membership: The SIG is open to all IASP members. We invite members to join up by contacting Caroline Daly at the CAO (email@example.com). We also issue an invitation to IASP members to put themselves forward for leadership of the Task Forces.