Volume : 4
Issue : 2
Online ISSN : 2455-8559
Print ISSN :
Article First Page : 61
Article End Page : 65
Introduction: Suicide is an increasingly important public health issue. Considering the shortage of mental health professionals in India, there is a need to integrate grass root health professionals in efforts at suicide prevention. Successful suicide prevention depends on health professionals’ awareness about suicide and attitude toward suicide attempters.
Aim: This study was aimed to assess the attitude of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) towards suicide prevention.
Materials and Methods: Data was collected from 500 ASHAs working in 10 taluks of Tumkur district, Karnataka using attitude towards suicide prevention scale. Study design was cross- sectional.
Results: All of them were females with mean age of 34.9 years (SD= ± 5.46). Majority of them (97.2 %) had studied above secondary education (8th class onwards). 80.4 % of them had working experience of more than 3 years as health professionals. None of them had previous exposure to suicide prevention programs or workshops. 40% of them expressed that they are not comfortable in assessing person for suicide risk and 51% considered working with suicidal patients is not rewarding. 45% ASHAs considered suicide prevention is not their responsibility and 49% were of the opinion that there is little an individual can do to prevent it. ASHAs who have studied pre- university and above expressed more positive attitude.
Conclusions: Less than half of the ASHAs had positive attitude toward working with suicidal patients. Hence, there is strong need to organize more educational and training programs on suicide prevention so that these grass root health professionals could be more equipped and trained to manage suicidal patients.
Keywords: Accredited social health activists, Health professional, Attitudes, Suicide, Suicide prevention.