Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Prevention Programs Tied to Drop in Suicide Attempts

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Prevention Programs Tied to Drop in Suicide Attempts

Article excerpt

FROM JAMA PSYCHIATRY

Federally funded suicide prevention programs might have helped avert more than 79,000 suicide attempts by young people over a 3-year period, said authors of a national observational study.

Counties that implemented the comprehensive, community-based programs reported about five fewer suicide attempts for every 1,000 young people aged 16-23 years, compared with counties that were otherwise similar but lacked the programs, said Lucas Godoy Garraza of ICF International, New York, and his associates.

Since 2004, the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Memorial Act has channeled competitive federal grants to states, colleges, and tribes for youth suicide prevention programs. These initiatives include activities aimed at increasing suicide awareness; screening at-risk youth; training gatekeepers; and connecting young people and families with mental health care, survivor support programs, and crisis hotlines, the investigators said. A prior study tied the programs to short-term drops in rates of completed suicides, they noted (JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Oct 14. doi: 10.100l/jamapsychiatry.2015.1933). To explore the effects of the GLS program on youth suicide attempts, the investigators compared National Survey on Drug Use and Health data for 466 counties that had implemented the programs and 1,161 counties that had not but were otherwise similar. The final dataset included 46 states and 12 tribal communities, the researchers said. …

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