In this blog, Claudia García-Martínez, psychologist and PhD student in Psychology at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) discusses the role of social media in developing new approaches for suicide prevention.
Suicide has been defined as a global health priority by World Health Organization (2014). And it is not for less: it causes over 700,000 deaths every year in the world and is the fourth leading cause of death in young people aged 15-29 years. The reduction of suicide mortality is a global target and is included as an indicator in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In some way, stigma and taboo have possibly hampered a greater development of prevention strategies for decades. Now we are talking more and more about suicide and therefore, we are seeing new prevention approaches that hopefully will lead to a better prevention and intervention programs.
Until a few decades ago, research efforts have been focused on curbing suicide deaths by trying to predict their occurrence. But suicide deaths are statistically a rare event. So it has been really complex to develop sensitive tools with sufficient predictive value. Continue reading
In this blog, Hala Najm, health promotion and adolescent health expert and senior programs associate at Mentor Arabia Foundation reflects and shares lessons learned from the experience of moving social and emotional learning programs to online platforms with children in Lebanon.
Growing up in a highly connected world, the internet has become a natural part of children’s day to day lives around the globe. It is a means that, especially during the pandemic, has helped us all socialize and stay connected. In fact, the pandemic has fuelled this digital age which seems to be the new trend. Working from home, online learning, virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, birthday events and weddings became a big hit and the new norm.
In Lebanon, working remotely was the solution to many challenges that the country was facing. Starting with civil unrest and ongoing protests; the devaluation of the local currency leading to an economic crash; the pandemic which led to the closure of many businesses; and the cherry on top was Beirut Blast, in 2020, the third-largest non-nuclear explosion in history, which left more than 200 dead and 10,000+ injured. Amid this ongoing humanitarian crisis, the mental health and wellbeing of adults as well as children and youth is greatly affected. Psychosocial support (PSS) programs are the cornerstone to help maintain a resilient generation as they pass through difficulties and overcame traumatic events. Continue reading
In this two-part blog, Nathan Beltrand (BRAPEP) and Samuel Tomczyk (EUSPR) share their thoughts and thoughts of esteemed colleagues on communication via digital media and invite you to participate and build a strong foundation for future communication with early career preventionists.
As early career researchers in the EUSPR and BRAPEP, we are interested in fostering collaboration, exchanging ideas and experiences, and learning together for the betterment of global prevention efforts. Networking events like annual conferences are instrumental to this goal. However, it requires effort to support and sustain, which is why we decided to go online – due to the pandemic. We then noticed changes in the way we communicate using digital media, but there is still a long road ahead.
Is presence something inherently physical – or does the feeling of presence transcend the physical sensation? Continue reading
In this article, Jose López-Guerrero and Claudio Vidal Giné from ABD – Energy Control (Spain) provide their opinions on harm reduction programmes within the school setting.
It seems like a century ago, but the last Harm Reduction International Conference, held in Porto in April 2019, welcomed the words of Michelle Bachelet, the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile. In her speech , she listed in a convincing way the benefits of drug policies framed within a well-being and health-oriented harm reduction perspective regarding people who use drugs. Opioid substitution treatment, syringe exchange programmes or drug consumption rooms have shown their effectiveness and usefulness where they have been applied and well-funded. However, harm reduction adapted to educational contexts is far from the implementation and recognition shown by previous schemes. Continue reading
In this article, Professor Maria Rosaria Galanti from Karolinska Institute provides her opinion on the adverse consequences of Covid-19.
Everyone knows what a pandemic is, but few of us have been witnessing one like that caused by the SARS -COV-2 virus.
Unprecedented because of the virus: elusive, devastating, a multifaceted killer when it kills. With many “perhaps” in its natural history: “perhaps” eliciting humoral immunity; “perhaps” transmitted only through airways emissions; “perhaps” infecting only during the early symptomatic stage… Continue reading
In this blog article, Charlotte De Kock, researcher at Ghent University (Belgium) and member of the Xchange Prevention Registry is presenting the story of this unique European registry of evidence-based prevention interventions.
It’s been two years now since I’m involved in the development and maintenance of the Xchange prevention registry. This experience enabled me to work with a team of people who have decades of experience and expertise in drug prevention. But what is the Xchange prevention registry exactly, and what did we realise in these last couple of years?
What is Xchange?
The European Xchange Prevention Registry was officially established in 2017. Xchange is an online registry of European, evidence-based prevention interventions. It is updated approximately twice a year with new programmes and feedback from implementers (schools, public health institutes, etc.). Continue reading
In this blog, Dr. Giovanni Aresi and Dr. Raven H. Weaver will discuss the societal benefits of volunteering among older adults, specifically reflecting on being a mentor for disadvantaged youth. Although mentoring has been considered as a positive youth development intervention, there has been much less attention on the effects on older volunteer mentors’ well-being.
Healthy ageing as a key priority for our society
Individuals are living longer than ever before, posing a challenge in respect of increased risk of developing physical and mental illness, but also creating new opportunities for older adults to remain socially engaged with and contribute to society. The WHO defines healthy ageing as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age”. Having the capacity to remain engaged allows for lifelong learning, growth, agency/decision-making, and development of relationships – all of which contribute to society. Continue reading
Currently, the COVID-19 outbreak is having a firm grip on the global population. To restrict further spread and increase preventive measures across the population, prevention science is called upon to complement medical actions. Being an interdisciplinary research field, prevention science comprises multiple perspectives that are coming together to strengthen resilience in crisis. Three of them (health psychology, communication science, implementation science) will be highlighted to underscore their potential for responding to this global challenge. Continue reading
Maria Rosaria Galanti is Professor in Public Health Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. In this article, she provides an interesting opinion on the intellectual qualities of scientists. Are there good and bad scientists? Read on to find out Professor’s Galanti opinion.
When I was five years old, I declared the adult world (i.e. my mom, dad, and my grandmother) that I would become a medical doctor. Which I eventually did. But if anyone would have said at that stage (or even much, much later) that I would have become a respected researcher I would have twisted my mouth (“What is that”?). The thing is: I wasn’t born to be a scientist. I do not even know if anyone ever was. Ending in professional research is a process rarely starting at early age (thanks god!). Continue reading
In this blog, Dr Helen Gleeson offers interesting insights on the needs of young people with a have a history of substance use who come into contact with the criminal justice system in the UK. Curious? Read on.
In the UK, many young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system have some history of substance use. Most of these young people will be ordered by the police or the courts to attend a mandatory substance use program as part of their sentence or caution. Unsurprisingly, it can be difficult to engage this group in a program that they are attending in order to avoid criminal sanctions (e.g. a custodial sentence). As part of the EPPIC (Exchanging Prevention practices on Polydrug use among youth In Criminal justice systems) project, research teams have been collecting qualitative interview data from young people and professionals in substance use intervention and criminal justice settings in six European countries (UK, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Austria). In the UK, I was part of a research team that interviewed 38 young people and 25 professionals from youth offending teams (YOTs), community services, children’s services and third sector organisations who offer substance use services to young people both in and outside of the criminal justice system. Continue reading