Session 1: Context and Aims

By Rebecca Musgrove and Lana Bojanić.

Suicide Prevention Strategies: Data Needs and Data Gaps

Prof Louis Appleby, University of Manchester.

Prof Appleby summarised the key aims of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, in particular looking at “high risk” groups as well as other specific groups within the general population that may need targeted intervention. He highlighted potential data gaps or challenges of examining such groups within general population datasets, where it may be less easy to identify and monitor risk, such as those in minority ethnic or LGBTQ communities.

Additionally, he referred to the gender differences in suicide trends, namely, how they look different in women, particularly young girls. Prof Appleby also mentioned lack of routine data, issues of timing around registration of deaths and inconsistency brought by narrative verdicts as obstacles in epidemiological monitoring of suicide rates.


Using Data on Suicide and Self-harm

Liz Scowcroft, Samaritans.

Liz Scowcroft gave examples of numerous ways third sector organisations use data to inform their work. She commented that data also seems to be something that members of the public are interested in, with the Samaritans ‘Facts and Figures’ page one of the most popular pages on  their website. They have also produced videos to help people understand how to interpret suicide statistics:


Gender Informed / “Gender Neutral” Approach in Research

Prof Louise Howard, Kings College London.

Prof Howard was regrettably unable to attend. However, you can access her short talk via Mental Elf podcast using this link.


>> Continue reading Session 2: General Population and Cohort Surveys.


Rebecca Musgrove (@beckymus) is currently researching for a PhD in Epidemiology with a focus on suicide and self-harm for people who have recently been discharged from mental health inpatient care. She is also a Senior Analyst in Mental Health at NHS England (Rebecca.musgrove@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk).

Lana Bojanić (@BojanicLana) has a Master’s degree in psychology and is a Research Assistant at the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health, University of Manchester (lana.bojanic-2@manchester.ac.uk).


Featured Image: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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