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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76414 Find in a Library
Title: Special Police Action in Toulouse To Combat Suicide
Journal: International Criminal Police Review  Issue:342  Dated:(November 1980)  Pages:251-257
Author(s): C Signourel
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: France
Annotation: This article describes the development and operation of a suicide prevention program by the police department in Toulouse, France, and assesses the program's impact.
Abstract: Program development began with the collection of suicide statistics based upon police contacts with suicides and suicide attempts. It was found that in the Toulouse area, more deaths were caused by suicide than by traffic accidents. The most significant finding which indicated the need for a suicide prevention program was that over one-fourth of the suicide attempts were made by persons who had already tried to kill themselves either once or several times. The police began a program of personal contact and conversations with those persons who had attempted to kill themselves at least once. These conversations were entrusted to volunteer officers who were willing to give the time necessary to help the person. Both uniformed and plainclothes officers were used in the program. Although it was feared that police officers would symbolize threat and intimidation to suicidal persons, this did not generally happen, as the officers came to be viewed by the suicidal persons as protectors from whom they could draw strength in rebuilding their lives. The officers gave practical advice about handling problems that appear overwhelming to the suicidal persons and provided a supportive emotional atmosphere of caring and protection. One year after the program began, not a single repeated attempt at suicide was reported. Fifteen months after the start of the program, there were three suicide attempts among the persons interviewed. Overall, the results are positive. The program hopes to involve persons from a number of disciplines in team efforts to help suicidal persons. Tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Counseling; France; Police crisis intervention; Specialized police operations; Suicide; Suicidology
Note: Article appeared in Police Nationale, N 113.
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