Influence of coping strategies on the efficacy of YAM (Youth Aware of Mental Health): a universal school-based suicide preventive program.

Jean-Pierre Kahn, Renaud F. Cohen, Alexandra Tubiana, Karine Legrand, Camilla Wasserman, Vladimir Carli, Alan Apter, Judit Balazs, Raphaele Banzer, Francesca Baralla, Shira Barzilai, Julio Bobes, Romuald Brunner, Paul Corcoran, Doina Cosman, Francis Guillemin, Christian Haring, Michael Kaess, Urša Mars Bitenc, Gergley Mészàros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The school-based mental health promotion and suicide prevention universal program Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) significantly reduces incident suicide attempts and severe suicidal ideation. This paper aims at elucidating psychological mechanisms underlying YAM's efficacy. Our hypothesis is that YAM operates through interactions with coping strategies (CS) on the reduction of suicidal ideation (SI). In the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study, five coping strategies were assessed at baseline (T0) and 12-month follow-up (T12): "learning", "help-seeking", "arts", "sports" and "fight". We analyzed interactions between the YAM intervention, coping strategies and SI in the YAM group (N = 1693) and the minimal intervention group (N = 1909), after excluding prevalent cases with SI and previous suicide attempts from our total sample (N = 5654). General Linear Mixed Model regressions were performed. The present study confirms that coping strategies play an influential role on suicidal ideation. Our results showed that YAM acts whatever the prevailing coping strategies used. It is particularly efficient for pupils insufficiently using adaptive coping strategies such as LEARN and HELP-SEEKING or using maladaptive coping strategies, such as ARTS and FIGHT. The socialization induced by the YAM intervention seems to be a strong component of its efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1671-1681
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • SUICIDE prevention
  • ADJUSTMENT (Psychology) in adolescence
  • HEALTH promotion
  • MENTAL health
  • SUICIDAL ideation
  • SCHOOL mental health services
  • EVALUATION of human services programs
  • Adolescents
  • Coping strategies
  • Mechanisms
  • Mental health promotion
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Suicide prevention
  • Universal programme
  • YAM


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