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Advocacy Campaign for Suicide Prevention

Advocacy Campaign for Suicide Prevention

Suicide is one of the causes of death in the general population. Most suicide statistics depict that many people develop the desire to commit suicide at one point in their lives. It affects mostly the low income earners and the people in the developing countries. Fortunately, suicidal cases are preventable if public awareness is raised and if advocacy efforts receive support from the public, politicians and funding bodies. Although suicide is a rare cause of death compared to other causes such as accidents and illnesses, it is important to create a greater awareness about it in the healthcare sectors and among politicians so that health care providers can get adequate training on how to handle the cases and to urge politicians to provide funding and resources required.Advocacy Campaign for Suicide Prevention

The article “A Systematic Review of Mass Media Campaigns for Suicide Prevention” describes the media campaign program developed by the public health to help prevent suicide in the general public. Some countries, good examples being, the United Kingdom and Norway have used the media campaigns to advocate for suicide prevention. However, research shows that media campaigns often lead to copycat behaviors where vulnerable individuals kill themselves after seeing an example of a suicide case in the media. Suicide cases being reported by media celebrities are often imitated by youth and end up increasing suicidal cases instead of reducing them. This makes this strategy non-effective.

Another article that presents a suicide prevention program is the ‘Nation’s Largest Suicide Prevention Organization Launches Suicide Prevention and Firearm Pilot Program”. This program was launched by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and is aimed at educating gun retailers and the community owning firearms about what to do to prevent suicide among at-risk individuals. Research has shown that most suicidal cases are those that are committed with the use of guns and fire arms. To make it effective, this program is targeted at people from different demographic and social backgrounds.They also work on ensuring that schools and workplaces educate kids and adults on mental health.

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The advocacy policy that I suggest is one whereby a large network of laboratories are created and funded by federal agencies and private bodies. These laboratories should then be used to conduct researches on the factors that cause one to commit suicide and how suicide can be prevented. Very large number of samples should be used in these studies because suicide occurrence rate is very low. Data representing different cultures, demographics, races, economic status and regions should be captured by these laboratories. The laboratories should also take in high risk peoples from different communities and carry out treatment and prevention research on them. Tissues samples should be obtained from these individuals and be used to study their genetic makeup and biochemical analyses. Toxicological studies should also be done on the samples. These studies will be effective because various dimensions such as ethnic, psychological, ethical and psychosocial will be combined so as to come out with a solution that meets the general health and mental health needs of the general public. It will also give a clear picture of the suicidal rates in different regions and within different communities.

Suicide is a rare cause of death that is preventable through public education and creation of programs that advocate for its prevention. People should be educated on the fact that there are better ways to solve problems other than suicide. An example of programs that advocate for prevention of suicide are the Media campaign developed by the Ministry of Public health that uses the media to report suicide cases and educate the public about it. Another example is that of American Foundation Suicide prevention that aims at reducing suicide actions in the firearm owning community. It is necessary to come up with a large number of laboratories to be used in researching on the main factors that causes one to commit suicide and conducting studies on suicide treatment and prevention strategies.Advocacy Campaign for Suicide Prevention

Reference

Firearms and Suicide Prevention Program — AFSP. (2017). AFSP. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from https://afsp.org/our-work/education/firearms-suicide-prevention-program/

Torok, M., Calear, A., Shand, F., & Christensen, H. (2016). A Systematic Review of Mass Media Campaigns for Suicide Prevention: Understanding Their Efficacy and the Mechanisms Needed for Successful Behavioral and Literacy Change. Suicide And Life-Threatening Behavior. Accessed 19 March 2017, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sltb.12324/abstract Advocacy Campaign for Suicide Prevention

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