A Test of the Effectiveness of a List of Suicide Warning Signs for the Public

Authors


Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306–1270, E-mail: joiner@psy.fsu.edu

Abstract

In this study we examined the effect that reading a list of warning signs for suicide has on beliefs about suicide, including the belief that one can recognize a suicidal crisis. All participants read two sets of warning signs (with only the experimental group reading the suicide warning signs) and then answered questions concerning beliefs related to three health problems. Results indicate that participants who read the suicide warning signs reported greater abilities to recognize if someone is suicidal but did not report stronger beliefs that suicidal individuals are partly to blame, nor did they report lower likelihoods of befriending suicidal individuals. Results suggest that reading the list of warning signs may be effective in increasing the public's ability to recognize suicidal crises without creating or magnifying stigmatizing beliefs about suicidal individuals.

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