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Crisis. 2012;33(4):208-14. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000144.

Suicide clusters in young people: evidence for the effectiveness of postvention strategies.

Author information

  • 1Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. gcox@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Suicide clusters have commonly been documented in adolescents and young people.

AIMS:

The current review conducts a literature search in order to identify and evaluate postvention strategies that have been employed in response to suicide clusters in young people.

METHODS:

Online databases, gray literature, and Google were searched for relevant articles relating to postvention interventions following a suicide cluster in young people.

RESULTS:

Few studies have formally documented response strategies to a suicide cluster in young people, and at present only one has been longitudinally evaluated. However, a number of strategies show promise, including: developing a community response plan; educational/psychological debriefings; providing both individual and group counseling to affected peers; screening high risk individuals; responsible media reporting of suicide clusters; and promotion of health recovery within the community to prevent further suicides.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is a gap in formal evidence-based guidelines detailing appropriate postvention response strategies to suicide clusters in young people. The low-frequency nature of suicide clusters means that long-term systematic evaluation of response strategies is problematic. However, some broader suicide prevention strategies could help to inform future suicide cluster postvention responses.

PMID:
22713976
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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