The rate of suicide attempt in adolescents has been increasing for the last decades, especially in young girls. Suicide attempt is the best-established risk factor for subsequent death by suicide, therefore this increasing trend is alarming. Reportedly, only up to 9% of those adolescents who attempt suicide are seen at somatic hospitals, implying that up to 90% of all teenagers in a crisis situation with a suicide attempt may have not received professional help for their suicidal behavior. The YRSA project aims to document prevalences and early risk factors for suicide ideation and -attempt in both those seen at somatic hospitals for suicide attempt and in those who self-reported suicide attempt but do not seek somatic treatment. Further, the aim is to examine barriers and facilitators of seeking help from mental health services after a suicide attempt. The YRSA project, which combines self-reported data from the Danish National Birth Cohort with register-based data, are unique for this purpose.
DRISP and The Research Unit in the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Center have received a grant from The Novo Nordisk Foundation to test the school initiative Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) in Danish schools.
The project is a cross-sectoral collaboration between the Social and Healthcare Sectors to investigate whether insight and knowledge about mental health vulnerability and self-harm can be prevented among students in 9th grade in Danish schools.
The YAM intervention is a 5-week evidence-based program that encourages young people to learn about mental health well-being, encountering role play and discussions on topics related to their everyday mental health. The intervention is manual-based and will be facilitated by trained YAM Instructors.
Several schools have already expressed their interest in the project, which will be conducted as a cluster randomized feasibility study in 8-10 schools across the country. The aim is to investigate whether the intervention can be implemented in Danish schools on a larger scale.
We are looking very much forward to getting started.
About 1% in the general population have autism-related conditions. The onset is often in childhood and may have an impact on the child’s upbringing and socialization. Although autism-related conditions have been linked to suicidal behavior, little is known regarding which characteristics are associated with suicidal behavior in this subgroup.
In this research project, DRISP, in collaboration with international researchers, sought to identify social and disease-related predictors of suicidal behavior among people with autism.
Danish registry data covering the entire Danish population (6,559,266 persons) in the period 1995-2016 were included in the analyses. The results showed that people with autism-related disorders had a more than 3-fold higher rate of both suicide attempts and suicide than people without these disorders. The excess risk of suicidal behavior among people with autism could be observed across all age groups.
People with autism who also had psychiatric disorders were found to have a significantly increased risk and this group accounted for 90% of those who had suicide attempts or died by suicide. The results suggest that people with autism who also have psychiatric disorders should be a target group for suicide preventive efforts.
The project received funding from the Helse Foundation.