The SOSU project: Teaching material in suicide prevention

The SOSU project: Teaching material in suicide prevention


Elderly people have the highest suicide rate among all age groups in Denmark. Especially the oldest men (80+) are the group that commits suicide most frequently.
One of the professional groups that often meet older citizens is social and health care assistants. A survey by the Association of Public Employees (FOA) in 2019 found that almost every fourth member employed in elderly care has experienced citizens who have attempted suicide, and that 18% have experienced elderly people who have taken their own lives.
At the same time, the study showed that the vast majority of employees in elderly care have not received training or guidance in assessing suicide risk, and do not feel that they have the necessary tools to handle situations with suicidal behaviour.


The purpose of the SOSU project is to develop teaching material on suicide prevention for use at social and health schools in the region of Southern Denmark. The material must be instrumental in increasing social and health assistant students’ knowledge of and competences within the elderly and suicide, including reflection on their own attitudes towards suicide, identification of special risk factors for the elderly, as well as knowledge of and training in action options and prevention in clinical practice .


The project consists of the development, production and implementation of material for teaching suicide prevention for use in social and health schools. The teaching material consists of, among other things, powerpoints, case exercises, recommended literature, educational films, action cards and training folders.
The material has been compiled on the basis of user involvement with social and health assistant students, teachers at social and health schools, as well as the latest available research in the field, including relevant literature for teachers and students, evidence-based change and behavioral theories or screening tools for depression and suicide risk that are already in use in clinical practice.


The project is ongoing and will run until the end of 2023.


Center for suicide prevention in the region of Southern Denmark

External funding

The project is supported by the Danish Health Authority’s pool “Funds for suicide prevention initiatives”.

This page was last updated at 05/04/2023