Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Alive? Alive! Research and prevention of suicide

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.09.00  Medical sciences  Psychiatry   
5.09.00  Social sciences  Psychology   

Code Science Field
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
5.01  Social Sciences  Psychology and cognitive sciences 
suicide, suicide prevention, interventions, mental health
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on April 24, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  357  55,907  55,262  154.8 
Scopus  373  83,101  82,345  220.76 
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  54444  Monika Brdnik  Psychology  Technical associate  2022  18 
2.  32135  PhD Diego De Leo  Public health (occupational safety)  Head  2022 - 2024  438 
3.  53697  Vanja Gomboc  Psychology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  77 
4.  53208  Nina Krohne  Psychology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  69 
5.  53207  Meta Lavrič  Psychology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  80 
6.  34312  PhD Urša Mars Bitenc  Psychology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  63 
7.  06813  PhD Vlasta Novak Zabukovec  Psychology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  429 
8.  34313  PhD Tina Podlogar  Psychiatry  Researcher  2022 - 2024  133 
9.  28757  PhD Vita Poštuvan  Psychology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  528 
10.  57124  Lucia Rojs  Psychology  Junior researcher  2023 - 2024  12 
11.  36480  PhD Nuša Zadravec Šedivy  Psychology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  100 
12.  35519  PhD Ana Zalokar  Mathematics  Researcher  2022 - 2024 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  2790  University of Primorska, Faculty of mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies  Koper  1810014009  17,690 
2.  1669  University of Primorska, Andrej Marušič Insitute  Koper  1810014007  10,782 
The programme Alive?Alive! [English speakers only: Slovene name Živ?Živ! has a positive connotation by resembling a bird chirp; Alive?Alive! is a literal translation of it] is a comprehensive approach including both the prevention of suicide and the innovative ways of researching suicidal behaviour, both important aspects as suicide is one the biggest societal and public health problem in Slovenia. The main goals of the programme are reducing suicide rates in Slovenia, contributing to multi-disciplinary and multi-level suicide prevention and to bring a wide range of research methods into suicidology in order to better understand and explain suicidal behaviour. Implementation of these goals is based on a spectre of interventions in the field of mental health and suicide prevention. (1) Our work in the framework of mental health promotion includes media campaigns for general public and implementation of guidelines for responsible media reporting on suicide. (2) Prevention activities include activities of universal prevention (implementation of information technology based prevention applications, restricting access to the means of suicide), selective prevention (empowering vulnerable groups, e.g. adolescents, elderly) and indicated prevention (prevention work for recognizing individuals that are at high risk for committing suicide, e.g. educating gatekeepers). In the framework of (3) treatment and (4) maintenance of care we implement e-supportive solutions for individuals in distress, postvention activities for suicide survivors and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) programme for adults at risk. Therefore, a wide variety of groups of people with specific needs is included in the programme (general public, vulnerable groups of individuals, people in mental distress, etc.). With the purpose of ensuring high-quality of scientific results we use the combination of the innovative research methods (spectre of different quantitative and qualitative research methods). The programme addresses a great need for more comprehensive and long-term use of multi-level interventions for suicide prevention in our region. At the same time it enables an opportunity for developing innovative programs and research methods, which are needed in suicidology, and observing the impact of implementing this kind of programme in Slovenia. We therefore have an opportunity to contribute to the development of science (suicidology), research and prevention of suicidal behaviour in our region and also to the socio-economic development of Slovenia.
Significance for science
The proposed programme is of great importance for both national and international public health and the development of suicidology. We will integrate the latest research methods and findings with practical work (interventions); this approach is important for several reasons. Interventions can be continuously improved and developed with the help of scientific methods (research, evaluation, long-term monitoring). We can also monitor the reactions of different target groups to interventions and assess their adequacy. The combination of interventions and research work is also reasonable from an ethical point of view, because studying the individuals in distress permits the identification of cases of people needing psycho-social support and help. For the development of suicidology it is thus crucial that suicide prevention continues to be scientifically monitored and that evaluation of interventions is correctly done and adequately published. This is the only way we can assure that approaches work and that they are not contra-indicated. In the proposed programme, we will use information technology to obtain new types of data, e.g. on the use of e-interventions. For establishing new models, we will use a multitude of advanced statistical methods to analyze quantitative data gathered through interventions. In addition, we will also use qualitative research methods that are still new in suicidology. This is important for the development of science, as qualitative methods provide a new dimension of insight into suicidal behavior that is impossible to study with quantitative methods alone. Since with quantitative research methods, we can only try to explain phenomena with, while using qualitative methods, we can also understand them more in depth. Because suicidal behavior is always multifaceted, explaining it with merely linear causal relations is not enough. All the described methods of work represent an important contribution to the development of suicidology. The multi-level programme enables the adaptation of interventions to individual target groups and in this way offers a comprehensive programme for mental health promotion and suicide prevention, which is of great importance for our region. From a scientific point of view, the implementation of such programme in Slovenia also means outstanding opportunities for observing the development of particular interventions and the impact of the whole programme on a national level. Integrated programme will enable in-depth insight into dynamics of suicidal process as a consequence of interaction between various relevant factors. With a multidisciplinary approach, a combination of different research methods and multi-level interventions, the proposed programme addresses the current challenges of suicidology and supports efforts to expand research guidelines and destigmatize suicidal behavior, which will improve current scientific fluency.
Significance for the country
Suicide represents a psycho-social, economic and financial burden for the whole society. The consequences of suicide can therefore be perceived at many levels - there are subjective, immeasurable consequences, felt by the suicide survivors, and objective consequences at the societal level. The proposed research and intervention-based programme has a direct impact on the level of well-being of the inhabitants and also on the economy. Positive impact can be found at different levels: through promotion (mental health promotion among general public, development of IT for promotion); prevention (implementing educational workshops for adolescents and the MBCT program); and treatment and help for individuals or groups with mental health problems or bereaved due to suicide. It is important that all mentioned groups of people receive alternative ways of debriefing or some kind of psycho-social help. Interventions are also important in terms of postvention - working with suicide survivors, because they are a group with high risk for developing different forms of mental illnesses and suicidal behaviour. In the framework of the programme, we will directly work with the individuals and target groups, which will result in improving mental health and reducing behaviours that have negative impact on health (e.g. self-harm and suicidal behaviour, substance abuse etc.). Benefits for socio-economic status can also be identified, since better mental health results in lower incidence of physical diseases, healthcare expenses and absenteeism and higher productivity. The programme will also raise awareness of the importance of health, possibilities for active care for inhabitants; reduce costs related to health care activities and help maintaining and improving the quality of services and user satisfaction. The proposed programme is also important because of the following two socio-economic viewpoints: (i) EPIDEMIC. During an epidemic it is important to apply preventive activities in order to prevent the suicide rates, which have been declining in the last years, to rise again. (ii) SUSTAINABILITY OF THE SUICIDE-RELATED WORK. A number of international studies have shown that preventive programmes are efficient if a longer time frame for implementation is provided, if they are a part of the national programmes and if they are regularly renewed. With a programme that would be implemented in a longer time frame, we would enable this kind of systematic and sustainable preventive work in Slovenia for the first time. We are gaining new findings that contribute to higher quality of applications in suicidology. Implementation of high-quality and advanced scientific research programmes can raise the reputation of Slovenia as a country that invests in effective solving of one of the biggest public health problems.
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