Outcomes of community-based suicide prevention program in primary health care of Iran

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Background: Suicidal management and prevention in communities, especially in its first stages, is an effective intervention for the health systems. However, in numerous societies most cases go undetected. Primary Health Care (PHC) is an effective place for the management of Suicide Prevention Programs (SPP). In Malekan County, a health community assessment found suicide as the most important health problem. A regional SPP was performed for suicide prevention during 2014–2017. Methods: This study was carried out in six steps: (1) Establishing a research team, (2) Improving a registry for suicidal behaviors (SBs), (3) Identifying local determinants of SBs, (4) Training healthcare providers, (5) Follow-up and monitoring of SBs, and (6) Public awareness campaigns. Our ultimate goal was to lower the rates of suicide, and suicide attempt (SA) by 15 and 20 %, respectively. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the adjusted odds ratios and the 95% confidence intervals. Results: A total of 821 SAs and 32 suicides were identified. The gender distribution for suicides was 70% males whereas SAs were 64% among females. The majority of suicides occurred in spring 18 (56.25%) while summer was the most common season among SAs 288 (35.8%). Almost 62 and 75% of suicides and SAs have used hanging and poisoning methods, respectively. Hanging increased suicide risk significantly (OR: 8.5, 95% CI 2.9–76.99). During the study, 93 life-skill and parenting education sessions were held. The incidence rates of suicide and SA decreased from 11.22, and 203 per 100,000 in 2013 to 2.63, and 157 in 2017, respectively. Similarly, the re-attempt to SAs ratio decreased from 12% to 2013 to 6.7% in 2017. Moreover, more than 8% of SBs were collected from adjacent Counties. Conclusions: At the study end, suicide, SA, and re-attempt were lowered by 75%, 22%, and 42%, respectively. The practical framework that achieved in this study could be used as a basis for developing future SPPs and suicide researches in the Iranian context. Furthermore, the various socio-economic and socio-cultural challenges highlight the need to consider a wide range of contextual factors when developing an SPP.




Azizi, H., Fakhari, A., Farahbakhsh, M., Esmaeili, E. D., & Mirzapour, M. (2021). Outcomes of community-based suicide prevention program in primary health care of Iran. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-021-00492-w

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