Children Action

Artopie: Teen and suicide prevention

2018 - 2021

During the transition from childhood to adulthood, teens may face challenges that result in a negative impact to their mental health such as, depression, anxiety, and in some cases, self-harm or suicide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Self-harm is the third leading cause of death in 15/19 year olds”, and “80% of depression begins in adolescence, but many cases go undetected and untreated.”

In order to fight the devastating impact of teen suicide in Switzerland, Children Action, in collaboration with the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), established the Malatavie Crisis Unit in 1996 with a focus on suicide care and prevention. As part of this cutting edge multi-disciplinary initiative, both parties have set up Artopie, supported by Fondation d’Harcourt. Artopie is an innovative project combining art and healthcare inside and outside the hospital with the aim of creating a close relationship between youth at risk of suicide, society, and health professionals.

Inside the hospital young adults have an opportunity to express themselves through unique activities such as workshops on music, theater, photography, digital, and literary arts which strengthens their personal and social resources. Through external collaborations and partnerships the teenagers will attend festivals, visit museums and galleries, and interact with the community. These events and gatherings aim to facilitate civil society engagement, raise awareness on suicide prevention, and create a space of dialogue between adolescents at risk and the community.

Project highlights


monitoring and evaluation team

cultural project coordinator

psychiatric nurses



cultural organizations

Activities and beneficiaries


youths at risk of suicide involved in the project


cultural projects


health units involved


interventions in collaboration with the hospital units


interventions that engage the community


website created


cultural organizations involved