Evid Based Mental Health 6:121 doi:10.1136/ebmh.6.4.121
  • Therapeutics

Review: evidence is lacking about suicide prevention in young people

 QUESTION: What is the evidence on suicide prevention in young people?


Systematic review with narrative synthesis.

Data Sources

Studies were identified by searching PsychINFO, Medline, ERIC and Education Full Text; reference lists were hand searched.

Study selection

Population-based cross sectional studies, longitudinal studies and controlled prevention or intervention studies were included.

Data extraction

Data on suicide rates, risk factors and school based, community based and health care based prevention programs were described. Quantitative data extraction was not systematically performed, owing to the qualitative nature of many of the primary studies.

Main results

Risk factors for suicide include psychopathology, a family history of psychopathology or suicide, adverse life events, abuse and poor socio-economic circumstances. Protective factors include family cohesion and religious belief.

Schools based prevention programmes: limited evidence supports training of school staff to recognise students at risk of suicide, and crisis intervention after a suicide to reduce the risk of subsequent suicides in peers. …