Problems with Suicidal Behavior Prevention in Adolescents: a Narrative Literature

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Among the existing issues related to the health and quality of life of Russian adolescents, suicidal behavior is being actively discussed; however, the available comprehensive measures for prevention of suicide and attempts at suicide at this age do not provide an adequate solution. This is due to the fact that suicide is an integrative phenomenon, and the act of suicide itself is interpreted, in essence, as the “tip of the iceberg”. What is especially clearly manifested in adolescence is the fact that the readiness to commit suicide is associated not so much with the level of severity of mental pathology and personality dysfunction, but with the general social context lack of well-being of total trouble. Therefore, suicide prevention cannot be based purely on the timely identification of persons at risk for mental pathology. 

PURPOSE: The purpose of this work is to analyze the available literature on current approaches that have demonstrated their efficacy in reducing suicidal behavior in adolescents.

METHODS: The authors performed a narrative review of the relevant literature published between 2012 and 2021. They analyzed the works presented in the PubMed, MEDLINE, and Web of Science electronic databases. Descriptive analysis was used to generalize the data obtained.

RESULTS: The article discusses preventive approaches to suicidal behavior in adolescents, which are most often studied, and which are also used in practical healthcare. It outlines the problems associated with the implementation and evaluation of the efficacy of these preventive programs. 

CONCLUSIONS: The continuing high rate of suicide among adolescents calls for an urgent concerted effort to develop, disseminate, and implement more effective prevention strategies. School-based approaches are the most convenient in practical terms, but they require systematic and long-term use of anti-suicidal programs. Digital interventions can reduce the economic burden of their use, including assessing suicidal risk and identifying psychopathology associated with suicidality.

About the authors

Aleksey Pichikov

Author for correspondence.
Email: sigurros@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6522-6057
Russian Federation

Yurii Popov

Email: popov62@yandex.ru

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