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Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention Tools in the UK: Current Landscape and Future Directions

Arowosegbe, Abayomi; Oyelade, Tope; (2023) Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention Tools in the UK: Current Landscape and Future Directions. Psychiatry International , 4 (4) pp. 354-369. 10.3390/psychiatryint4040032. Green open access

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Abstract

Suicide is a major global public health problem, with profound implications for individuals, families, and communities. In the United Kingdom (UK), despite efforts to detect and manage suicidal ideas, suicide rates persist, especially among middle-aged men and women, particularly those aged 45 to 54 years. Recent global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, conflict, and the environmental crisis, have raised concerns about an increase in suicide rates, particularly among young people. As a result, a population-wide preventive approach based on evidence is imperative to mitigate the projected increase in suicides. To evaluate the effectiveness of suicide prevention strategies, there is a need for an objective and universally accepted risk assessment approach that does not currently exist. This review examines the current landscape of suicide prevention in the United Kingdom and evaluates the strengths and limitations of existing suicide risk assessments tools. The current suicide prevention tools used, including machine learning and mobile applications are discussed. Also, the epidemiological trends in the various regions of the UK, risk factors including age, sex, and socio-economic status are assessed to provide context. Through this discourse, we hope to provide valuable insight for clinicians, researchers, and policy makers about the current landscape of suicide, especially within the United Kingdom, while presenting recommendations regarding areas that require further research and improvement. Accordingly, suicide prevention is and will continue to be a major focus of both the national health service and research in the UK in the strive to reduce the rate of suicide across all regions. Indeed, headways have been made in the use of technology in preventing suicide both locally and globally. However, research should in the future investigate the value of personalized interventions tailored to the various risk factors of suicide and based on appropriate screening and assessment tools.

Type: Article
Title: Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention Tools in the UK: Current Landscape and Future Directions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/psychiatryint4040032
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint4040032
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/)
Keywords: suicide; suicidal ideation; suicide prevention; mental health; COVID-19; public health; UK
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10183289
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