By Piumee Bandara Earlier this year, I found myself deep in Sri Lanka’s lush, leafy suburbs, knocking on doors for an interview. I was there with a team of local researchers to gather information from people primarily about adverse experiences in childhood and current experiences of domestic violence. My aim, to gain a better understanding… Continue reading Researching domestic violence and suicidal behaviour in Sri Lanka
By Kamelia Harris Suicide is a leading cause of premature death in people experiencing mental health problems such as schizophrenia . Around 10% of people experiencing this mental health problem die by suicide  and many more will experience suicidal thoughts and behaviours. My work focuses on understanding how by developing resilience in people, suicidal… Continue reading ‘Put the effort in and you’ll get there in the end’: People’s experiences of resilience to suicidal thoughts and behaviours
By Hayley Gorton Back in 2015, I attended the International Association for Suicide Prevention congress the first time. I found myself in a room with about 600 delegates including psychiatrists, psychologists, statisticians, epidemiologists and many others; but realised that I was probably the only pharmacist there. This made me reflect on my own practice as… Continue reading Community pharmacy: An untapped resource in suicide prevention?
By Wouter van Ballegooijen Everyone has a smartphone. Well no, but 80% of people do (in the UK and the Netherlands) and it’s safe to say that your average patient in adult and adolescent mental health care will have one. I recently calculated that each of my two-year-old smartphone’s 8 processor cores have 15 times… Continue reading How smartphones can revolutionise suicide research
By Emma Nielsen and Donna Littlewood They say that a picture speaks a thousand words. While a thousand is arguably a point of debate, it is certainly true that images can be a powerful means of conveying ideas, sharing experiences and opening up conversations. This can be particularly important when words are hard to find… Continue reading See What I’m Saying? Using creative methods to open up conversations around self-harm, suicide and ‘recovery’
By Jessica Leather Data collection through web-based organisations has become increasingly common in academic research, due to the promise of large sample sizes and lightning-fast data delivery. Companies such as Qualtrics, Amazon Mechanical Turk and YouGov provide researchers with the opportunity to purchase or ‘crowdsource’ participants for online surveys and cognitive tasks. Some offer in-depth… Continue reading Tips for collecting data through an external organisation
Thomas Joiner is a Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, where he leads his Laboratory for the Study of the Psychology and Neurobiology of Mood Disorders, Suicide, and Related Conditions. What are your main research interests? Suicidal behavior in a nutshell. To understand it and all of its facets, so as to better be… Continue reading Interview: Career advice from Thomas Joiner
By Olivia Kirtley The lab and questionnaire-based nature of much self-harm and suicide research means that we often only have access to snapshots of participants’ experiences and behaviours. Furthermore, the chronic lack of prospective and longitudinal research in the field means we know very little about how behaviours and experiences change over time. Most often,… Continue reading Out of the lab and into everyday life: Using Experience Sampling Methods to better understand self-harm and suicide
By Laura del Carpio and Abigail Paterson The Citizenship, Recovery, and Inclusive Society Partnership (CRISP) programme , led by the University of Strathclyde, has brought together leading academic institutions and third sector organisations from across the EU and the USA to share knowledge on approaches to social inclusion and mental health. As a result of… Continue reading Approaches to suicide in Finland: Reflections from an international secondment
By Laura Hemming It was an average Sunday afternoon when me and my partner, Sam, decided to head to our local swimming pool for a few laps. We’d been particularly stressed due to being midway through searching for and purchasing our first home, and decided we’d take some time out of relentlessly scrolling Rightmove to… Continue reading When your research topic becomes too close to home
By Rosie Pendrous Recruiting people into psychological studies can be challenging, especially in an area as sensitive as suicide/self-harm. Researchers are increasingly turning to the internet to recruit people based on the popularity and accessibility of social media. Social media is now widely accessed by the general population, with approximately 89% of UK adults accessing the… Continue reading Experiences of online recruitment for suicide research: Some best practice recommendations
By Sadhbh Byrne The ethical considerations of suicide research with young people are aptly-described ‘thorny’, not least because young people are, by default, considered a vulnerable population. Although the concept of ‘vulnerability’ in this context is socially constructed , , and therefore difficult to precisely define, it appears that this is due to the confluence… Continue reading The balancing act: Empowerment and agency versus protection and safety – Reflecting on the requirement for active parental consent in suicide research with young people
By Austin J. Gallyer The Problem Suicide is an international public health crisis. In the United States (U.S.), the suicide rate increased by 33% from 1999 to 2017 , and in Scotland, the suicide rate increased by about 15% from 2017 to 2018 . Because of this large public health burden, scientists have conducted research… Continue reading The need for a “Psychological Science Accelerator” in suicide research
By Elystan Roberts Everyone who has ridden the rollercoaster of pubertal development knows just how difficult it can be. Between the ages of 10 and 20, our bodies and brains undergo some of the most substantial changes of our lives. Alongside managing huge fluctuations in circulating sex hormones and fundamental neurocognitive change, we face new… Continue reading Is there an association between pubertal timing and self-harm?
By Mirabel Pelton My research asks why autistic people* [A] are more likely to engage in suicidal thoughts and behaviours than people who aren’t autistic. I want to produce evidence that will really reduce suicide rates. As I near the end of my second year as a PhD student, I’ve noticed that, when I introduce… Continue reading 3 things we should know about suicide in autistic adults