Mental Health Research
‘Building a suicide prevention campaign targeted at family members and friends of those at risk of suicide.’
University of Melbourne, VIC
Awarded 2018 – 2019
“This research has great potential to make a unique contribution to the development of much-needed novel suicide prevention approaches within Australia and internationally.”
Dr Angela Nicholas is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, at the University of Melbourne. She also works as Senior Evaluation Officer at headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Initiative. In these roles she is involved in the evaluation of primary mental health care delivery and reform. She has a Doctor of Health Psychology from LaTrobe University and a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from Flinders University of South Australia.
Her PhD relates to the development of suicide prevention messages aimed at family members and friends of people at risk of suicide.
The overall aim of this research is to identify the most important messages for inclusion in a suicide prevention campaign aimed at family members and friends of a person at risk of suicide. Such a campaign would be to increase the likelihood that family members and friends would identify when a loved one is at risk of suicide, and intervene appropriately to ensure they stay safe and get the help they need.
The four studies in the research program are as follows:
- A national community telephone survey of 3000 participants that aims to identify Australian adults’ current knowledge, attitudes, confidence, capabilities, intentions and behaviours in relation to identifying, approaching and supporting someone at risk of suicide, and knowing how to ensure their safety;
- An online questionnaire study involving people with a history of suicide risk, which aims to gain a greater understanding of helpful and unhelpful responses provided to people when at risk of suicide;
- An expert consensus study involving participants with lived experience of suicide risk and suicide prevention professionals. This study aims to identify messages that these groups believe are most important to include in a suicide prevention campaign aimed at family members and friends of a person at risk of suicide;
- A systematic literature review aimed at identifying what is known about interventions that empower family and friends to play a role in keeping someone at risk of suicide safe.
Supervisors: A/Prof Nicola Reavley, Prof Jane Pirkis, A/Prof Matthew Spittal