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This paper discusses factors which have affected progress in the primary and secondary prevention of suicidal behaviour. An attributional model of helping and coping described by Brickman and his colleagues (1982) is used to suggest that the match or mismatch between attitudes and attributions of helpers and helped is critical in determining (a) whether or not people seek help when in a crisis, and (b) whether or not people respond to help when they receive it. The evidence for the efficacy of cognitive-behavioural problem-solving therapies is reviewed in the light of their ability to take account of matches or mismatches in attitudes towards helping and being helped.


Journal article


Br J Med Psychol

Publication Date



64 ( Pt 4)


345 - 358


Adaptation, Psychological, Drug Overdose, Humans, Internal-External Control, Problem Solving, Psychotherapy, Suicide, Attempted