Screening for suicidality and distress in young people

Given the high and growing toll of youth suicide in Australia, there is an urgent need for better methods to detect suicide risk in young people aged 16-21. This project will develop a new screening instrument to identify adolescents who are at risk for mental illness or suicide. The screening instrument will be designed in collaboration with stakeholders to increase our ability to implement safe, acceptable screening programs for young people, to better detect those at risk of suicide and link them to appropriate care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is running the study?

If you have any queries about the project, please contact the trial manager:

Mr Owen Forbes, Trial Manager
Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University ACT 0200
Telephone: (02) 6125 8409 Email:

The Primary Investigator can also be contacted:

Associate Professor Alison Calear, Primary Investigator

What should I do if I am feeling distressed?

If you or someone you know is feeling distressed, there are services to help you. Please talk to your GP, or contact one of the services below:

  • Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14 (24 hours)
  • Kids Helpline (for people aged 25 and under): 1800 55 1800 (24 Hours)
  • Mental health info lines:
    • : 1300 22 4636 (24 hours)
    • : 1800 187 263 (9-5)

What if I don’t want to participate in the study?

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary. If you are not interested in participating simply ignore this letter and the survey

Why should I participate in this study?

We are conducting this study because we are hoping to develop better ways of measuring thoughts and feelings in young people aged 16-21. Many young people who suffer from mental health problems do not seek help. If we can improve ways of measuring mental health, we can ensure that more people receive the help they need.

How can I obtain information about the results of the study?

Findings from the study will be posted here on the study website after the surveys are returned and the results are collated.

Does this study have ethics approval?

The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any concerns or complaints about how this research has been conducted, please contact:

Ethics Manager, The ANU Human Research Ethics Committee
The Australian National University
Telephone: +61 2 6125 3427  Email:


This project is funded by a community grant from p-squared and AFFIRM: The Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research