Suicide screening among pupils in online learning conditions: a scoping review
Introduction. The risk of child and youth suicides has increased in Ukraine since the Russian-Ukrainian war began. There is a high probability of increasing suicides among all ages, genders, and social groups after the end of active hostilities and the commencement of peace. Thus, Ukrainian students and pupils require regular screening for suicidal and self-harm tendencies to receive timely preventive or therapeutic interventions. However, due to distance learning conditions, most have limited access to diagnostics and help.
Purpose. The article aims to observe the available screening techniques suitable/applicable for detecting suicidal tendencies and/or self-harm in school-aged children in online learning conditions.
Methodology. A scoping review was chosen as a method of identifying available literature. Inclusion criteria were defined in that all articles must have been published within the last five years, written or translated into English, and dealt with pupils aged 5-19. Search engine databases included Scopus and Web of Science. The “Pearl growing” method was also applied by reviewing the references of included articles.
Results. Ultimately 18 out of 996 identified articles were included in scoping review. Most of the studies utilized long-established, reliable and evidence based mental health diagnostic screening tools, or a combination of several. The two most widely used diagnostic screening tools were the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7). We have identified three settings of digital tools developed on this basis: for school, for clinical, for remote-only usage.
Conclusions. Emerging technologies can augment traditional approaches during virtual suicide assessment. This research can offer promising direction into the facilitation of screening adolescents electronically in distance learning conditions. With careful planning and research, it is possible to effectively accomplish screenings for Ukrainian pupils and students and ensure they receive the appropriate mental health care as soon as possible.