Population- and Community-Based Interventions to Prevent Suicide: A Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Suicide is estimated to account for 1.4% of deaths worldwide, making it among the leading causes of premature death. Public health approaches to reduce suicide have the potential to reach individuals across the spectrum of suicide risk. Aims: To review the effectiveness of newer community-based or population-level suicide prevention strategies. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of literature published from January 2010 to November 2020 to evaluate the effectiveness of community- and population-level interventions. The US Center for Disease Control framework was used for grouping studies by strategy. Results: We included 56 publications that described 47 unique studies. Interventions that reduce access to lethal means, implement organizational policies and culture in police workplace settings, and involve community screening for depression may reduce suicide deaths. It is unclear if other interventions such as public awareness and education campaigns, crisis lines, and gatekeeper training prevent suicide. Evidence was inconsistent for community-based, multistrategy interventions. The most promising multistrategy intervention was the European Alliance Against Depression. Limitations: Most eligible studies were observational and many lacked concurrent control groups or adjustment for confounding variables. Conclusions: Community-based interventions that may reduce suicide deaths include reducing access to lethal means, implementing organizational policies in workplace settings, screening for depression, and the multistrategy European Alliance Against Depression Program. Evidence was unclear, inconsistent, or lacking regarding the impact of many other single- or multistrategy interventions on suicide deaths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCrisis
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Hogrefe Publishing.

Keywords

  • community-based interventions
  • population-based interventions
  • public health
  • suicide

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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