Suicide prevention among young people: A study protocol for evaluating Youth Aware of Mental Health in Australian secondary schools.

Lauren McGillivray*, Michelle Torok, Alison Calear, Fiona Shand, Andrew Mackinnon, Rebecca Lee Kuhnert, Philip Batterham, Hannah Rosebrock, Katherine Mok, Isabel Zbukvic, Helen Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15–24 years, with rates increasing over the past decade. As young people can be particularly vulnerable to mental health problems and suicidal behaviour, they are an important and obvious target for suicide prevention efforts. This study aims to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of a universal, mental health and suicide prevention program – Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) – for young people in Australia. Methods: This trial takes place in Australian schools, across four regions in New South Wales that form part of LifeSpan, a larger integrated suicide prevention research trial. YAM will be delivered to Year 9 students in up to 124 schools over two years. Participating students will complete a questionnaire at baseline, 3-months post-intervention, and at 6 and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome is feasibility and acceptability of YAM. Secondary outcomes are suicidal ideation, new reports of suicide attempt, stigma towards suicide, knowledge about suicide, help-seeking (intentions and behaviours), and depressive symptoms. Results: YAM is expected to be delivered, with high fidelity, to the majority of schools within the trial regions. Improvements in secondary outcomes are expected to be observed from baseline to 3-months post-intervention and longitudinal effects at 6 and 12-month follow-up. Conclusions: Findings from this research will contribute to the evidence-base for suicide prevention programs in Australian schools and, if proven effective, YAM could be widely delivered in Australian secondary schools, providing a valuable new resource.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number200178
    JournalMental Health and Prevention
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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