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Arenas-Monreal L, Hidalgo-Solorzano E, Chong-Escudero X, Durán-De la Cruz JA, González-Cruz NL, Pérez-Matus S, Valdez-Santiago R. Health Soc. Care Community 2021; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2021, John Wiley and Sons)






Suicide in adolescents constitutes a public health problem throughout the world. The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of suicidal behaviour in a public middle school in Mexico and to implement appropriate educational interventions in the school and community contexts. Our work took place from September 2017 to July 2018. We conducted a quasi-experimental, mixed-methodology study with 12-year-old students in first year of middle school (n = 29), using an educational intervention approach within the frame of the Life Skills Education methodology. We included family members and academic staff in the study with the view of sensitising them to suicidal behaviour. At the community level, we worked with the adolescent and adult populations to form 'gatekeepers' (guardians). We administered a questionnaire on psychosocial indicators of depression and suicide risk to 383 students in their first-to-third years of middle school. Other questionnaires were applied, and life skills focus groups (FGs) were organised with the educational intervention participants. The questionnaires addressed suicidal behaviour in adolescents, alcohol consumption, life skills and prosociality. Prevalence of attempted suicide cases came to 14.1% (95 CI% 10.7-17.9), the average age of those who reported having hurt themselves with the purpose of taking their lives was 12.9 years, 75% of those who had attempted suicide were female and 64.8% had consumed alcohol. The educational intervention with students achieved a statistically significant increase in the life skills of participants, specifically as regards self-awareness and overall scores. The family members in the FGs developed greater awareness of suicidal behaviour, and the adolescents engaged at the community level significantly broadened (p < .05) their knowledge of depression. In developing countries such as Mexico, it is essential not only to increase the number of interventions for preventing suicidal behaviour in adolescents, but also to improve instruments for measuring the extent of the problem.

Language: en


Mexico; adolescents; intervention; suicidal behaviour; gatekeepers


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