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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • cognitive behavioural therapy;
  • Internet;
  • school;
  • suicidal ideation

Abstract

Aim

Little evidence exists regarding the efficacy of suicide prevention programmes among the youth. This pilot study aimed to test the effects of a specifically designed, eight-module Internet-based programme on suicidal ideation among secondary school students.

Methods

The study employed a pre-test/post-test design. Outcomes of interest were suicidal ideation, depression and hopelessness. Participants were recruited via the school well-being team, were assessed at baseline and immediately post-intervention. The intervention was delivered weekly at the young persons' school.

Results

Twenty-one students completed all eight modules and a post-intervention assessment, and constitute the observed case sample used for the analysis. Overall levels of suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms and hopelessness decreased significantly over the course of the study.

Conclusions

This was a small pilot study with no control group. However, significant reductions were seen in suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms and hopelessness, indicating that Internet-based interventions may hold promise when it comes to reducing suicide risk among youth. Further investigation is warranted.