Researching Suicide Prevention in Persons with an Intellectual Disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder: Lessons Learned from Current Research

Monday 16 November 2020
logo of the National Webinars on Suicide Prevention

Speaker: Cécile Bardon, PhD, Associate Director of CRISE and Professor at the Psychology Department of Université du Québec à Montréal

Overview of the webinar

Suicidal Behaviour is frequent in individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but remain poorly studied and understood.

Although adequate data is still scarce, we can estimate that up to two thirds of adults with an ASD have had suicidal ideations and a third did at least one suicide attempt in their life. Regarding persons with an ID, prevalence is even less well known, but studies show that between 10% and 25% of persons with an ID had suicidal behaviours in their life.

Researchers and clinicians agree on the fact that is difficult to understand suicide in these groups the same way we do with neuro-typical persons and we need to develop specific assessment and intervention tools.

We will present and discuss the current state of knowledge and practice and our ongoing collaborative work with specialised services in Québec. At the crossroad between suicide prevention and rehabilitation, these projects have allowed us to develop a working model of suicide for these clients, as well as a set of screening, assessment and intervention tools. These tools (Process IDAS – A clinical process for suicide prevention: Intellectual Disability, Autism, Suicide) are currently being used for suicide prevention in various rehabilitation settings in Québec, are currently being translated in English and are subjected to validation studies.

About the National Webinars on Suicide Prevention 2020

This webinar was presented in the context of the National Webinars on Suicide Prevention, on October 30, 2020. This virtual event was co-organized by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS) and the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End-of-Life Practices (CRISE).