Risk Factors Reduction in Suicidal Youth Through Social Connectedness Opportunities Provided by Community Services

Marie Robert, Annie Desgranges, Monique Séguin, Guy Beauchamp

Abstract


Aim: This study examined the trajectory (life course) of youths, referred to community services following their suicidal behavior, in order to measure the extent to which these young people have taken this opportunity to modify connectedness with family, school, and workplace, and to change high-risk factors related to suicidal behaviors (mental health problems, delinquency, drug consumption). Method: Fifteen youths (aged 16-19), who made one or more suicide attempts or had serious ideation in the previous 24 to 48 months, were referred to community services (Vallée-Jeunesse). They were interviewed using an intensive personal interview measures (Trajectory Instrument Measure, TIM) in order to document significant life events and adversities that occured during different periods of their life.In addition, we administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis-I and Axis-II disorders (SCID-I and SCID-II) to identify past and current psychopathologies. Results: Several important changes took place following their entry into the community services: a reduction in delinquency and substance abuse/dependence, and positive changes in occupational status and suicidal behaviors (ideation and suicide attempt). Conclusion: Our findings can inform policies and strategies that support the prevention of suicidal behavior among young adults. Community services providers can play a role in the prevention of suicidal behaviors for the most vulnerable youths. These types of services could complement traditional suicide prevention strategies, which are mostly mental-health based.

Keywords


connectedness; suicide; prevention of suicidal behaviors; youth; community services; mental health