Authors: (Said Shahtahmasebi, The Good Life Research Centre Trust, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Abstract: Suicide literature has placed a heavy emphasis on mental illness and depression, hence
suicide prevention strategies have targeted mental illness in order to prevent suicide.
Exacerbating the problem for suicide prevention policy development is the lack of
appropriate information and evidence, and what evidence is available is based on flawed
research. In this chapter experiences from community work in Kentucky and New
Zealand are discussed. It is interesting to note that the actions and activities that the
communities had organised are all designed to engage the community at grassroots
including open discussion and debate. As a result, actions at grassroots refocus suicide
and address social, community and individual parameters, such as ‗the community cares‘,
or ‗talking and listening to your children‘, ‗listening and talking to your
neighbour/friend‘, these actions will tackle the many risk factors reported in the literature,
e.g., loss, divorce, and reverse the perception that suicide is a valid option. This approach
also highlights the availability and importance of interventional mental services.
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