Darius Leskaukas, Aidana Lygnugarytė-Grikšienė, Nedas Jasinskas, Agnė Masiukienė
According to the World Health Organisation, Lithuania is in the lead position for the number of suicides in Europe and is in the fifth position around the world. One of the most progressive interventions in the suicide prevention is training of the emergency medical services professionals. The emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, being in the closest contact with potentially vulnerable people, can identify people with the risk of suicide, provide initial support and to direct for further assistance. The goal of the research was to assess the correlations between the sociodemographic-professional characteristics of the specialists providing the emergency medical services, the attitudes towards suicide prevention, mental health, the strategies for coping with stress, burnout syndrome and the knowledge and skills with regard to suicide interventions. For this purpose, the EMS professionals of suicide prevention in Utena County were trained. The survey of respondents was conducted prior to the training and six months after the training. The questionnaire was used for the survey, assessing the sociodemographic-professional characteristics of the specialists providing the emergency medical services, the knowledge and skills with regard to suicide interventions, the attitudes towards suicide prevention, mental health, the strategies for coping with stress, burnout syndrome. Total 268 EMS professional participated in the research. The risk of suicide was identified in 13,4 % of the respondents, the major depressive disorder – in 38,4 % of the respondents, and the generalized anxiety disorder in 67,2 % of the respondents; 3,7 % of the investigated cases revealed harmful alcohol consumption and 1,9 % – the alcohol dependence syndrome. Six months after the training the number of the respondents with the risk of suicide and the generalized anxiety disorder decreased. The improved skills of suicide intervention are related to younger age, shorter period of employment, higher level of education, heavier workload, more positive attitudes towards suicide prevention, and the problem-focused coping. Six months after the non-recurring training on suicide prevention, the assessment of risk factors of suicide was improved, however the skills of suicide intervention and the attitudes towards suicide prevention did not changed.
Keyword(s): training; prevention; suicides; emergency medical services professionals; mental health.
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