Spirit (Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research IniTiative)

About SPIRIT project

SPIRIT project is a research partnership that aims to bridge the gap between scientific evidence and practice in suicide prevention and mental health interventions in India and Bangladesh.

Collaborators, Funding & Clearances

SPIRIT project will be implemented by the Indian Law Society (ILS) in collaboration with Trimbos Institute, Netherlands; SNEHA – Suicide Prevention Centre, Chennai; Gujarat Institute for Mental Health (GIMH) & Hospital for Mental Health (HMH) Ahmedabad and the Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (Bangladesh). The project is supported by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (United States). The project has received approval from the Health Ministry Screening Committee (HMSC) of the Government of India.

Significance

Suicide is a major social and public health concern in South Asia. There is high suicide rate among young people in India, and self-poisoning using pesticides is one of the commonest means of suicide in India and Bangladesh. Many specific suicide prevention interventions have been found effective in research studies but have either not been translated into meaningful care outcomes or not implemented together as a package in communities at scale.
SPIRIT project aims to address this gap by researching the implementation process of an integrated suicide prevention intervention in a community setting at scale. It aims to reduce suicidal ideation among targeted adolescents, rate of suicides in the intervention villages in Mahesana District of Gujarat, and build capacity of health workers in suicide prevention measures. It also aims to empower regional policy makers to integrate evidence generated from implemented research on suicide prevention in policy making in Gujarat.

Approach

SPIRIT project runs for a period of five years (August 2017 to June 2022) and has two components:

  1. Scale-up study: SPIRIT team will implement and evaluate an integrated suicide prevention intervention through a cluster randomized controlled trial in 120 villages of Mahesana district in Gujarat. The integrated intervention includes three evidence based sub-interventions. The first sub-intervention is based in schools where school teachers will be trained to deliver a culturally adapted Youth Aware of Mental Health Program. The second sub-intervention consists of encouraging community members to use centralized storage units of pesticides. The third sub-intervention consists of training primary, community and lay health workers in identifying, reaching and providing the support to those exhibiting high-risk behavior in their communities and where necessary, refer them for appropriate specialized support.
  2. Capacity building: SPIRIT team will organize one-year Implementation Science Research Fellowship Program for health care researchers and policy makers, training modules and short term online courses for other stake holders of the mental health sector.

For details, please write to
Dr Soumitra Pathare (Principal Investigator and Project Lead)
Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, Law College Road, Pune 411004
Email – spathare@cmhlp.org;
Tel no. 020-25656775