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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


GONZALEZ-FORTEZA, Catalina; ARANA QUEZADAS, Daniela Shaíl  y  JIMENEZ TAPIA, José Alberto. Suicidal phenomenon in adolescents and school context: link between self-management and health services. Salud Ment [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.1, pp.23-27. ISSN 0185-3325.

Deliberately Self-Inflicted Injuries (DSII) can include different behaviors with lethal consequences. Suicide threat, suicide attempt and suicide itself can be grouped within these conducts. Though suicide in school contexts is more frequent in women, it has been observed that DSII has similar frequencies in both genders according to age, recurrence, motives, methods, and lethality. Official sources provide an epidemiological overview of the suicide phenomenon and concur in pointing out that: a) adolescent and young population has the highest suicide attempt and suicide prevalences; b) men commit more suicide than women but these attempt it more than men; and c) there are some areas in Mexico where suicide prevalences are higher. There is a lot of information about the suicide problem, but there are still some questions unanswered. For example, what are the most subtle characteristics of the different adolescent and young populations affected by the phenomenon? Do the context and the type of population represent a specific peculiarity? How does suicide behave in juvenile offenders? How does it behave in people who live and work in the streets? And how does it behave in groups of migrant and indigenous people? From the present situation of the suicide phenomenon in the school context, emerges the importance of intervention strategies for preventing its occurrence. Thus, one of the proposals under development underlines the need for creating self-management and binding mechanisms within schools. Self-management implies an ascending transformation process, which seeks that the individuals of certain group or community identify their own needs and change their perception of such needs to ignite the development of the inherent potentials in their community. The suicidal problem is growing in school population, that is why it is important to treat it adequately from prevention, having in mind the characteristics of socio-educational institutions. These institutions have particular resources and needs that shape them and could make them ideal setting for prevention and mental health promotion among adolescents. Since the suicide phenomenon has a multifactorial nature, complex and dynamic, an interdisciplinary approach seems to be one the most adequate options to work. This assumption represents a starting point to promote self-management actions that facilitate links between schools and mental health services. Nevertheless, within educational institutions coexist a series of complex circumstances that, at the same time, found and affect the possibility to begin self-management. For example, the academic and bureaucratic demands have an impact on keeping the links with health services or diminish the role of the school as a potential facilitator. Another element opposing the development of self-management strategies in schools is the context where facilities are located. Many schools are in areas where drug traffic is usual, where weapon trading is evident, and where informal commerce and insecurity are normal. Thus, if self-management process is to be initiated, the proposal should be founded on a well-defined basis, which should address these elements: 1. A clear definition of the situations to be attended. 2. Specific strategies to achieve goals, to create interest, and to motivate the school staff. 3. To acknowledge real chances to fulfill perceived needs and the possible obstacles. 4. To consider all the people involved in achieving objectives, their roles, and the commitments they would attend. 5. To work constantly and consistently to ignite self-management. 6. To make use of every convenient option available. 7. To conduct meetings to establish specific needs, to remark objectives, to communicate achievements, and to structure or re-structure plans.

Palabras llave : Suicide; adolescents; self-management; schools.

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