Rapid scoping review of evidence of best practice in the design and delivery of self-harm and suicide prevention training

Jill Barker, Emma Giles, Kate Byrnes, Rebecca Lilley, Sarah Fishburn, Andrew Ramtohul, Grant McGeechan, Paul Thompson, Jonathan Robinson, Joshua Hodgson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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This report highlights the findings of a scoping review, which is a search of published
and unpublished studies. This review was done to investigate best practice in suicide
and/or self-harm training and understand what impact the training has on individuals
and if it helps to lower suicide and/or self-harm levels.

To be included in the review, studies needed to have met a set of keywords that
were agreed with people with personal experience of the impact of suicide and selfharm.

From this search we found 34 studies from across 35 papers in total. These
34 studies were undertaken within the United Kingdom, with most taking place in
England. Most of the studies found that suicide and/or self-harm training was offered
to, and completed by, people working in a healthcare setting. Other settings were
included in some studies, for example in schools, universities, and prisons. The
results show that suicide and/or self-harm training can have a positive effect on the
attitudes of people who receive the training. These attitudes relate to their thoughts
and views on suicide and self-harm. Only one of the studies looked at whether the
training made a difference to suicide levels and this study did not find evidence that
training reduced suicide levels. The results show that few studies developed their
training based on Health Education England’s competency frameworks for self-harm
and suicide prevention which are the standards that have been agreed for this type
of training. Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation identifies four levels of the impact that
training can have. Again, few studies reported wider impacts of training such as
reducing suicide and self-harm rates overall.

It is recommended that when future training is designed, it is done so using the
Health Education England frameworks. We also suggest that future studies in this
area should aim to determine the direct impact of the training on suicide and/or selfharm
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyNorth East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network
Number of pages97
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2021


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