“The Jönköping model”: The Rescue Services work with suicide prevention can be vital
In Jönköping County, the Rescue Services (Räddningstjänsten) has a wider role when it comes to work with suicide prevention compared to other regions in Sweden. Their efforts can be lifesaving, according to a new study carried out by researchers at the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, who, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Sweden, have investigated the so-called "Jönköping model".
In Jönköping, the Rescue Services has a wider task of coordinating the preventive work before, during and after emergency calls about suicide, which has been investigated in more detail in the new report "Suicide prevention work in Jönköping County - Examples of collaboration between different professions with the Rescue Services as coordinator".
“The purpose of the study was to find out more about how the wider work with suicide prevention is conducted in practice. The working method has come to be known as the “Jönköping model” and by interviewing the Rescue Services staff, and analysing some in-depth methods, we have found out more about their experiences of working according to the model,” says project manager Marie Ernsth Bravell, who together with Karl Hedman and Cristina Joy Torgé form the research group from the School of Health and Welfare that has worked on the study.
According to the Swedish Act 2003:778 on protection against accidents, rescue services refer to the rescue operations for which the state or municipalities shall be responsible in the event of accidents and imminent danger of accidents in order to prevent and limit damage to people, property or the environment.
The Rescue Services can play a central, coordinating role in local and regional work with suicide prevention. This applies not only in emergency situations but also in the ongoing suicide prevention work, before suicide events occur, and afterwards, in the crisis support given to the victims. The model also involves a broad collaboration between different actors such as the police, health care, social services, and the non-profit sector.
“The results indicate that work according to the “Jönköping model” can contribute to strengthening local and regional suicide prevention work in several ways. For example, Rescue Services personnel can use their experience of working to prevent accidents also in their role as coordinators in suicide prevention work,” says Karl Hedman.
The Jönköping model is based on three parts. One part is a common alarm plan for all blue light organisations, the other is a municipal action program on safety and security, and the third is an interprofessional working group that works with a special focus on suicide prevention and crisis support. In Jönköping municipality, suicide prevention is also included as part of the municipal action program for safety and security.
“The fact that suicide prevention is included as part of the municipality's accident prevention work makes that work visible and involves all the municipality's administrations,” says Cristina Joy Torgé.
The report "Suicide prevention work in Jönköping County - Examples of collaboration between different professions with the Rescue Services as coordinator" is now available at the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s website in Swedish.
Want to know more?
Marie Ernsth Bravell, project manager, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University
Elin Isfall,, Manager Security and Crisis preparation, Rescue Services, Jönköping Municipality
036 – 10 70 05
Josefin Strand, Fire inspector, Rescue Services, Jönköping Municipality
036-10 20 05
Suicide prevention with a focus on Rescue Services
Suicide and suicide attempts are serious public health problems, where suicide is the most common external cause of death. In fact, there are about four times as many people who commit suicide compared to people who die from traffic accidents every year. Suicide prevention work should therefore primarily involve various support functions in society, such as the rescue services, social services, police, and health care.
In Jönköping, the Rescue Services uses a model for suicide prevention that includes collaboration with various actors. Even though rescue service personnel have an important part in the suicide prevention work and that the Jönköping suicide prevention method is well known in Sweden, there is currently a lack of research and knowledge about the Rescue Services’ work with suicide prevention. This was brought to the attention of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, which granted researchers at the School of Health and Welfare at Jönköping University, funding to shed light on the Rescue Services' efforts and work in collaboration with other actors regarding suicide prevention. The project has been carried out in close collaboration with the Rescue Services in Jönköping Municipality and the Swedish Transport Administration. The results are now presented in the report "Suicide prevention work in Jönköping County - Examples of collaboration between different professions with the rescue service as coordinator" on the Public Health Agency of Sweden's website.