Michail, M, Mughal, F and Robinson, J (2020) Suicide prevention in young people: optimising primary care. British Journal of General Practice, 70 (692). 104 - 105. ISSN 0960-1643

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Youth suicide is a global public health concern. Despite significant differences in suicide rates depending on age, sex, and country, young people remain a key target for prevention and intervention with late adolescence (15–19 years) identified as a time of heightened risk and increased clinical focus worldwide. Among the many stressors that increase vulnerability to suicide in young people, social risk factors including poverty, bullying, academic pressures, and social isolation play key roles.

Suicide prevention may be considered an issue for specialist mental health services. However, given that many of the determinants of suicide lie at the heart of social adversity, there is a strong need for the shared role and responsibility between health, social care, education, the justice system, and the voluntary sector. Within a multifaceted public health approach to suicide prevention, we highlight the vital role of primary care.

GPs are often the first and the last healthcare contact for those who die by suicide3 and a trusted source for help-seeking for mental illness in young people.4 While the general practice consultation holds exceptional potential to support young people at risk of suicide, there are unique challenges that often prevent GPs from providing optimal care to this cohort. These include time constraints, heavy workload, and a lack of integration with specialist mental health services, which means that most of the time GPs have to manage complex cases in relative isolation.6 An identified lack of specialist education has also left many GPs feeling ill equipped to meet the multiple, diverse, and complex needs of young people at risk of suicide. Therefore, while GPs have an important role to play in youth suicide prevention, the complexities of primary care settings are not always acknowledged.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final accepted manuscript and all relevant information can be found at; https://bjgp.org/content/70/692/104
Uncontrolled Keywords: Suicide prevention, primary care.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV40 Social service. Social work. Charity organization and practice
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Primary, Community and Social Care
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2020 10:52
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2021 01:30
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7738

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