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Can J Public Health. 1996 Sep-Oct;87(5):319-24.

A systematic overview of adolescent suicide prevention programs.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Services, Teaching Health Unit, Hamilton, ON.


The purpose of this systematic overview was to summarize evidence about the effectiveness of adolescent suicide prevention curricula programs. A comprehensive search of published and unpublished literature resulted in retrieval of 11 relevant studies. The findings, of this overview indicate that there is currently insufficient evidence to support curriculum-based suicide prevention programs. The evidence suggests that there may be both beneficial and harmful effects of the programs on students. In most studies, knowledge related to suicide improved as a result of the programs. However, studies found both beneficial and harmful effects on attitudes related to suicide. One study found in increase in hopelessness and maladaptive coping for males following the intervention. The literature suggests that more broadly based comprehensive school health programs should be evaluated for their effectiveness in addressing the determinants of adolescent risk behaviour.

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