Background Suicide is a crucial global health concern and effective suicide prevention has long been warranted. Mental illness, especially depression is the highest risk factor of suicide. Suicidal risk is increased in people not only with mental illness but also with physical illnesses, thus medical staff caring for physically-ill patients are also required to manage people with suicidal risk. In the present study, we evaluated our newly developed suicide intervention program among medical staff. Methods We developed a 2-h suicide intervention program for medical staff, based on the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), which had originally been developed for the general population. We conducted this program for 74 medical staff members from 2 hospitals. Changes in knowledge, perceived skills, and confidence in early intervention of depression and suicide-prevention were evaluated using self-reported questionnaires at 3 points; pre-program, immediately after the program, and 1 month after program. Results This suicide prevention program had significant effects on improving perceived skills and confidence especially among nurses and medical residents. These significant effects lasted even 1 month after the program. Limitations Design was a single-arm study with relatively small sample size and short-term follow up. Conclusions The present study suggests that the major target of this effective program is nurses and medical residents. Future research is required to validate the effects of the program with control groups, and also to assess long-term effectiveness and actual reduction in suicide rates.
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