Psycho-social resilience, vulnerability and suicide prevention: impact evaluation of a mentoring approach to modify suicide risk for remote Indigenous Australian students at boarding school

McCalman, Janya, Bainbridge, Roxanne, Russo, Sandra, Rutherford, Katrina, Tsey, Komla, Wenitong, Mark, Shakeshaft, Anthony, Doran, Chris, and Jacups, Susan (2016) Psycho-social resilience, vulnerability and suicide prevention: impact evaluation of a mentoring approach to modify suicide risk for remote Indigenous Australian students at boarding school. BMC Public Health, 16 (98). pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

Background: The proposed study was developed in response to increased suicide risk identified in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are compelled to attend boarding schools across Queensland when there is no secondary schooling provision in their remote home communities. It will investigate the impact of a multicomponent mentoring intervention to increase levels of psychosocial resilience. We aim to test the null hypothesis that students' resilience is not positively influenced by the intervention. The 5-year project was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council from December 2014.

Methods/Design: An integrated mixed methods approach will be adopted; each component iteratively informing the other. Using an interrupted time series design, the primary research methods are quantitative: 1) assessment of change in students' resilience, educational outcomes and suicide risk; and 2) calculation of costs of the intervention. Secondary methods are qualitative: 3) a grounded theoretical model of the process of enhancing students' psychosocial resilience to protect against suicide. Additionally, there is a tertiary focus on capacity development: more experienced researchers in the team will provide research mentorship to less experienced researchers through regular meetings; while Indigenous team members provide cultural mentorship in research practices to non-Indigenous members.

Discussion: Australia's suicide prevention policy is progressive but a strong service delivery model is lacking, particularly for Indigenous peoples. The proposed research will potentially improve students' levels of resilience to mitigate against suicide risk. Additionally, it could reduce the economic and social costs of Indigenous youth suicide by obtaining agreement on what is good suicide prevention practice for remote Indigenous students who transition to boarding schools for education, and identifying the benefits-costs of an evidence-based multi-component mentoring intervention to improve resilience.

Item ID: 42498
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: resilience, suicide prevention, wellbeing, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, remote, school students, boarding school, mentoring
Additional Information:

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

ISSN: 1471-2458
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 03:19
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 40%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130305 Educational Counselling @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 30%
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