Promoting the community's ability to detect and respond to suicide risk through an online Bystander Intervention Model-informed tool Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Abstract. Background: The public health sector has advocated for more innovative, technology-based, suicide prevention education for the community, to improve their ability to detect and respond to suicide risk. Emerging evidence suggests addressing the bystander effect through the Bystander Intervention Model (BIM) in education material may have potential for suicide prevention. Aims: The current study aimed to assess whether BIM-informed tools can lead to improved readiness, confidence and intent in the community to detect and respond to suicide risk in others. Method: A sample of 281 adults recruited from the community participated in a randomized controlled trial comprising a factsheet designed according to the BIM (intervention group) and a standard factsheet about suicide and mental health (control group). Participants' self-reported detecting and responding to suicide risk readiness, confidence, and intent when presented with a suicidal peer was tested pre- and postintervention and compared across time and between groups. Results: The intervention group had significantly higher levels of detecting and responding to suicide risk readiness, confidence, and intent than the control group at postintervention (all p < .001) with moderate-to-large effect sizes. Limitations: The study was limited by a homogenous sample, too low numbers at follow-up to report, and self-report data only. Conclusion: This study demonstrates BIM-informed suicide prevention training may enhance the community's intervention readiness, confidence, and intent better than current standard material. Further testing in this area is recommended. While results were statistically significant, clinical significance requires further exploration.

publication date

  • 2020