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
B650  Biomedical sciences  Psychiatry, clinical psychology, psychosomatics 

Code Science Field
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
5.01  Social Sciences  Psychology and cognitive sciences 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  23596  PhD Katarina Babnik  Psychology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  288 
2.  37552  PhD Nastja Cepak  Mathematics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  17 
3.  32135  PhD Diego De Leo  Public health (occupational safety)  Head  2013 - 2016  438 
4.  13310  PhD Gorazd Drevenšek  Neurobiology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  329 
5.  01974  PhD Anton Grad  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2013 - 2016  289 
6.  36609  PhD Samir Hodžić  Computer science and informatics  Junior researcher  2013 - 2016  29 
7.  23316  PhD Katja Košir  Psychology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  521 
8.  29587  PhD Marja Kuzmanić  Psychiatry  Researcher  2013 - 2015  31 
9.  34312  PhD Urša Mars Bitenc  Psychology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  63 
10.  21809  PhD Bojan Musil  Psychology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  356 
11.  27777  PhD Enes Pasalic  Mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  134 
12.  34313  PhD Tina Podlogar  Psychiatry  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  133 
13.  28757  PhD Vita Poštuvan  Psychology  Researcher  2014 - 2016  523 
14.  39384  Mary Agnes Servatius  Mathematics  Junior researcher  2016 
15.  20248  PhD Boštjan Surina  Biology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  187 
16.  21495  PhD Nejc Šarabon  Sport  Researcher  2015 - 2016  927 
17.  35490  PhD Matej Voglar  Sport  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  99 
18.  24635  PhD Tina Vukasović  Economics  Researcher  2014 - 2016  722 
19.  36480  PhD Nuša Zadravec Šedivy  Psychology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  99 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1669  University of Primorska, Andrej Marušič Insitute  Koper  1810014007  10,698 
2.  2790  University of Primorska, Faculty of mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies  Koper  1810014009  17,507 
The program 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 project 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 would include media campaigns for general public and implementation of guidelines for responsible media reporting on suicide. (2) Prevention activities would 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 would implement e-supportive solutions for individuals in distress, postvention activities for suicide survivors and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) program for grown up individuals at risk. Therefore, a wide variety of groups of people with specific needs would be included in the program (general public, vulnerable groups of individuals, people in mental distress, etc.). With the purpose of ensuring high-quality of scientific conclusions we would use the combination of the innovative research methods (spectre of different quantitative and qualitative research methods).   The program would address big needs for more comprehensive and long-term use of multi-level interventions for suicide prevention in our region. At the same time it would enable an opportunity for developing innovative programs and research methods, which are needed in suicidology, and observing the impact of implementing this kind of program in Slovenia. We would therefore gain 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 implemented programme is of great importance for both national and international public health and development of suicidology. We integrated the most up-to-date research methods, findings and practical work (interventions); this approach is important for many reasons. With scientific methods (research, evaluation, long-term follow up), we can continuously improve and further develop interventions. We can also monitor the reactions of different target groups to interventions and assess their adequacy. Combination of interventions and research is also reasonable from the ethical perspective, 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 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. With the implementation of the IT interventions we were able to gather new kinds of data, e.g. the usage of the information technology. For establishing models, we used a variety of up-to-date statistical methods for analysing quantitative data, gathered through interventions. Besides this, we also used qualitative research methods, which are still new to suicidology. This is important for development of science, because qualitative methods enable a new dimension of insight into suicidal behaviour, which is impossible to be studied only by quantitative methods. With quantitative research methods in suicidology we can only explain, while we can also try to understand the individual’s act with qualitative methods. Since suicide is always a multifaceted act, explaining it with merely linear causal relations is not enough. All of the above contribute greatly to the development of suicidology. Multileveled programme enables adjustment of interventions for different target groups and therefore offers comprehensive programme of mental health promotion and suicidal behaviour prevention, which is of great importance for our region. Implementation of such programme in Slovenia also meant outstanding opportunities for observing the development of particular interventions and the impact of the whole programme on a national level. Integrated programme enabled in-depth insight into dynamics of suicidal process as a consequence of interaction between various relevant factors. With multidisciplinary approaches, combination of different research methods and multileveled interventions, the programme addressed current challenges of suicidology. We strived to widen research guidelines and eliminate taboos associated with suicide behaviour, which improves current scientific fluency.
Significance for the country
On average, every suicide affects six proxies (‘suicide survivors’) and 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 implemented research and intervention-based program had 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 and corses, 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 received 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 program, we directly worked with the individuals and target groups, which resulted 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 also raises awareness of the importance of health, possibilities for active care for inhabitants; reduces costs related to health care activities and helps maintaining and improving the quality of services and user satisfaction. Implementation of the programme was also important because of the following two socio-economic viewpoints: 1) Recession: In the state of the economic recession we expected that suicide rate, which was decreasing in the years before recession, will not follow the same trend anymore; rather, it is more likely that it will rise again. This has been seen in statistics for the year 2011 and was proved over years that followed. 2) Sustainability of the suicide-related work: A number of international studies have shown that preventive programs are efficient if a longer time frame for implementation is provided, if they are a part of the national programs and if they are regularly renewed. With a program that was implemented in a longer time frame, we enabled this kind of systematic and sustainable preventive work in Slovenia for the first time. We gained new findings that contributed to higher quality of applications in suicidology. Implementation of high-quality and advanced scientific research programmes raised the reputation of Slovenia as a country that invests in effective solving of one of the biggest public health problems.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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