School-based suicide prevention – prepare to be impressed

A recent cluster trial [1] covered over 11,000 pupils in 168 schools randomised to three different types of intervention or control. The interventions were:

  1. Educating teachers to spot children at risk;
  2. A programme delivered by outside instructors, which included role play and other measures aimed at enhancing resilience and reducing negative thoughts;
  3. A screening service.

All interventions were associated with a reduced risk of attempted suicide, but this was substantial and statistically significant only for the second intervention targeting adolescents directly. CLAHRC WM has programmes of youth psycho-prophylaxis and the Director was mega-impressed by this study.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Wasserman D, Hoven C, Wasserman C, et al. School-based suicide prevention programmes: the SEYLE cluster-randomised, controlled trial. Lancet. 2015; 385; 1536-44.

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