Youth suicide prevention at grassroots (pp. 149-157)
Authors: Said Shahtahmasebi
Abstract: The suicide literature suggests that mental illness and in particular depression are the main causes of suicide. Worldwide government policies of addressing mental illness have been the main focus for suicide prevention, which coupled with a moratorium on reporting and public debate of suicide appears to deliver ineffective services. A prevention scheme that is based on intervention will be ineffective because intervention mainly occurs at or after an outcome such as incidence of an illness. Not everyone suffers from mental illness, and not everyone who suffers from mental illness will commit suicide. However, there is a growing body of literature that challenges the mental illness-suicide link. This paper argues that suicide is the result of a complex decision making process by individuals who live in communities and contribute to society. Therefore any interventions must be holistic and at grassroots level. The application of Kentucky University’s ‘stop youth suicide’ campaign to a New Zealand community is briefly discussed.