• Opublikowano: 22/02/2024

Results of the ENLIGHTEN – Enhancing Soft Skills for Suicide Prevention in Medical Education and Practice project

The Medical University of Łódź, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, and Vilnius University – Faculty of Medicine, collaborating within the Alliance4Life initiative, have implemented the ENLIGHTEN project – Enhancing Soft Skills for Suicide Prevention in Medical Education and Practice. This project addresses a critical yet often overlooked aspect of medical education – the development of soft skills and their role in preventing suicides among medical students, lecturers, and healthcare professionals. Recognizing the growing concern for mental health in the medical community, the ENLIGHTEN project aims to scientifically analyze available research tools, conduct surveys, and lay the groundwork for the development of a comprehensive training program focusing on soft skills development as a means of suicide prevention.

The study was conducted in the form of an online survey from February 2nd to February 16th, 2024. The survey comprised psychometric questionnaires designed to measure symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, available in the languages of all participating countries: the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9), and Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). The utilized questionnaires aimed to assess the deterioration of psychosocial functioning, which is a predictive factor for suicides. Additionally, item 9 of the PHQ9 questionnaire directly addressed the frequency of suicidal thoughts.

A total of 597 individuals participated in the study, including medical students (282 individuals, 47%) and healthcare professionals (315 individuals, 53%) from Croatia (369 individuals, 62%), Lithuania (141 individuals, 23%), and Poland (87 individuals, 15%). Survey results indicate a significant psychosocial burden among the surveyed groups. Among the participants, 32% experienced at least mild symptoms of depression, 35% struggled with at least mild symptoms of anxiety, and 23% experienced stress symptoms of at least mild intensity, according to the DASS-21 questionnaire. Results from the PHQ9 questionnaire show that only 26% of participants did not experience symptoms of depression, while 22%, 17%, and 9% experienced moderate, severe, and very severe depression symptoms, respectively. Moreover, 21% of respondents admitted to experiencing suicidal thoughts at least several times within the past 3 weeks. In terms of the BHS, 69% of participants indicated at least moderate levels of hopelessness.

These aforementioned results demonstrate the presence of numerous symptoms within the domain of the so-called stress, anxiety, and depression triad among the study participants, significantly contributing to the deterioration of psychosocial functioning and increased suicide risk. It is noteworthy that this deterioration was particularly pronounced among students experiencing stronger symptoms in all measured areas.

Individuals involved in the project at the Medical University of Łódź are:

– Konrad Socha, Department of Healthcare System Development

– prof. Anna Zalewska-Janowska, Department of Psychodermatology

– prof. Agnieszka Gmitrowicz, Clinic of Affective and Psychotic Disorders

– dr. Bartłomiej Tarkowski, Department of Psychodermatology


The A4L_ACTIONS project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 964997, acknowledges the financial support for the publication of ENLIGHTEN project results


Medical University of Lodz
Al. Kościuszki 4
90-419 Łódź
NIP 725 18 43 739
REGON 473 073 308

Find us!