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Althaus, D. (2005): Suizidprävention: Vorgehensweisen und Wirksamkeit. In: Verhaltenstherapie, No. 1: pp. 12-19




According to official statistics every year 11,000 persons in Germany die from suicide. 20 years ago nearly 19,000 suicides were registered. What are the causes for this decrease? Do suicide preventive measures contribute to the reduction of suicide rates? Different universal prevention strategies ( e. g. restriction of access to means) and selective approaches ( programs for special high-risk groups; e. g. patients after attempted suicide) are presented and discussed regarding their preventive value. In most cases it is hardly possible to scientifically prove the efficacy of suicide prevention strategies. Neither the role of psychosocial interventions nor the impact of psychotropic agents can be sufficiently quantified. Due to various methodological reasons ( e. g. small sample sizes and the lack of randomization), interpretation of the data is difficult. In terms of a comprehensive approach of suicide prevention a combination of different activities should be most adequate in the long run.