Events, Suicide Prevention

World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

10th of September is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) and many of our netECR members have come together to provide a collection of new blog covering a range of topics related to suicide and self-harm. The articles present a wide collection of views, experiences, and perspectives on suicide and self-harm including themes around research, lived experiences, suicide prevention policies, cultural issues, scientific practices, and public engagement. We hope that these blog articles will help those involved in the field of suicide prevention to expand their views on the topic, influencing and advancing practices of prevention and intervention, and ultimately helping to save lives.

Huge thanks to all wonderful netECR members who have contributed, in alphabetical order:

Allie Bond, Austin J. Gallyer, Bethany Cliffe, Eleanor Bailey, Emma Nielsen, Erik Reinbergs, Faraz Mughal, Grace Cully, Hazel Marzetti, Hilary Causer, Holly Crudgington, Joeri Vandewalle, John F. Gunn III, Katerina Kavalidou, Kate LaForge, Katherine Brown, Katherine Bird, Kealagh Robinson, Kenvil Souza, Kerry Hozhabrafkan, Laura del Carpio, Madhav Bhargav, Martina McGrath, Meryem Betul Yasdiman, Mirabel Pelton, Rosie Pendrous, Tyler R. Pritchard, Valerie J. Douglas, & Wouter van Ballegooijen.

Blog Articles:

Anxiety and Buddhism: How meditation bridges the gap

By Madhav Bhargav. It was 16:30 pm on a Friday evening and I was standing beneath the neon light patiently waiting on my turn to be called in for an interview for a PhD position. I began to feel a tingling sensation flow through my body. It was excitement, contentment, fear of failing and the…

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The self-harm/suicide field: Collective action, personal hope

By Katherine Brown. World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) 2021 is upon us. Although this day is already one which unites people across the globe in reflection, this year’s theme – ‘Creating hope through action’ – has especially got me thinking. WSPD was established eighteen years ago. I’ve been in the field of self-harm/suicide for a…

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The ethics of suicide research and why sharing data is important

By Wouter van Ballegooijen. From the perspective of an idealistic researcher, research in the field of suicide prevention has obvious merit. Understanding this subject and what works to prevent it will eventually lead to better help and care for individuals who are at-risk. Potentially, we can save lives. There are important ethical questions to consider…

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The Census makes no sense: Count us in

By Martina McGrath. Rebels, misfits, outsiders, troublemakers and agitators have a lot to answer for. People with a lived experience of ‘difference’ throughout history have always been the movers and shakers of significant and often times transformative social change. In Australia, one recent example of this came when Australia voted for marriage equality in 2017.…

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Taking uncertainty about life and death seriously

By Kate LaForge. In her brilliant book exploring suicidality among Inuit youth, Lisa Stevenson [1] writes: It became evident to me that presuming the value of life, staging it as the ultimate good, could be as dangerous as negating it. If listening to the pain in the lives of suicidal youth is only a means…

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On Recent Criticisms of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide

By Tyler R. Pritchard. Suicide is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by multiple interacting factors. Indeed, it can be overwhelming as an early career suicidologist trying to understand suicide and support those struggling. I, and many others, have the opportunity to have suicide be a part of our research, clinical work, and personal history.…

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The welcoming changes in self-harm research and next steps

By Katerina Kavalidou. The linguistic and attitudinal changes within self-harm research have been very welcoming in the last years, with studies highlighting that through the last two decades suicide-specific journals, such as Crisis, Archives of Suicide Research, and Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior have managed to reduce the use of stigmatising language for those with lived…

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Tips for partnering with secondary schools to conduct self-injury and suicide research

By Kealagh Robinson. Adolescence is a critical developmental period for self-harm research and intervention. Self-injury, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behaviours often begin during adolescence [1, 2], and adolescent self-harm predicts poorer psychological outcomes in adulthood [3, 4]. Many adolescents regularly attend secondary schools, making these pragmatic recruitment sites for adolescent research participants. Secondary schools themselves…

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Firearm Lethal Means Counseling in Schools

By Erik Reinbergs. Firearms are ubiquitous in the United States. However, few people here are aware that most gun deaths in the US are suicides. Young people are not exempt. Firearms account for roughly 46% of suicides in the United States for young people ages 0-24 – nearly 3,000 deaths per year – making guns…

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Can We Use EEG to Find Brain Differences in Those Experiencing Suicidality?

By Austin J. Gallyer. Last year for World Suicide Prevention Day, I wrote about how we have little evidence — for or against—differences in the functioning of the brains of those who experience suicidality. The reason for this was that existing studies that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and/or electroencephalography (EEG) were severely underpowered…

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Eating disorders and suicide: What does the research say?

By Rosie Pendrous. A review of 94 papers published between 2000 and 2018 estimated that approximately 8.4% of women and 2.2% of men experienced an eating disorder (ED) – including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other specified feeding, and binge eating disorder – in their lifetime[1]. Global statistics also suggested that the…

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Young people’s experiences of general practice for self-harm

By Faraz Mughal. We all know how serious self-harm is, and self-harm in young people is no different. Recent findings using electronic general practice patient records showed an increase in self-harm recorded in general practice in young people, particularly in girls aged 13-16.[1] In terms of healthcare utilisation: in the National Health Service young people…

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Stories from the side-lines: family members’ expectations of care and treatment for their relatives with suicidal ideations

By Joeri Vandewalle. There is growing recognition that family involvement is important in the care and treatment of people with suicidal ideations. Family members can provide valuable information about their relatives [1], engage in safety planning [2], and offer support to reduce their relatives’ loneliness [3]. Moreover, family members can support continuity of care by…

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Examining the pathway to self-harm in high-risk youth using a novel Card Sort Task for Self-Harm (CaTS): It’s time to change how self-harm is assessed

By Katherine Bird. Self-harm (any self-injury or -poisoning regardless of intent) is a significant public-health concern, affecting between 18.8% and 50% of young people under 25-years [1; 2]. The concern relates to the physical harm, emotional distress, and reduced mental health and wellbeing self-harm causes. Most concerningly, self-harm is the most significant predictor of death…

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Postvention: Perceptions of closeness, constructions, and contexts

By Hilary Causer. In this post I will share with you how my research into the impact of student suicide on staff in United Kingdom (UK) Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) has led me to consider an expansion to the concept of ‘perceptions of closeness’ [1]. Further, I explore how contextual factors may nurture such perceptions,…

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Why smartphone apps can be useful for students who self-harm

By Bethany Cliffe. It is well-documented that mental health difficulties are highly prevalent among university students, with self-harm in particular being twice as common in this group than in the general population [1]. The transition to university often involves moving to a new environment and leaving support networks behind, with uncertainties around how and where…

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