Change is hard, no matter what the change is. My name is Rhiannon and I’m a second year PhD student within the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab (SBRL) at the University of Glasgow. I also have an MA(Hons) in Music, and am an orchestral violinist.
The effectiveness of an intervention is typically determined by the use of outcome measures, whether this be in research or in clinical practice. In research, outcomes allow for the determination of an intervention’s suitability for wider distribution into communities. In clinical practice, outcomes can contribute to practitioners’ understanding of service users’ wellbeing and whether it has improved or if extra support is required. Clearly, outcome measures can carry a lot of weight, so it is important that the target constructs are meaningful and relevant so that they accurately reflect the experience of ‘recovery’ for each individual.
By Rebecca Musgrove I’ve always loved numbers. I have vivid memories of the excitement of solving complicated A-level maths problems. I enjoyed the lack of ambiguity; either the answer was right or it was wrong. It was knowable. Twenty years later, via a career implementing community health projects, where there is rarely one straightforward solution,… Continue reading Getting reflexive: Reflections from a data loving researcher
By Rosie Pendrous. In psychological research, we rely on being able to measure a construct (such as depression) or a behaviour (such as frequency of past self-harm) in a valid and reliable way . In doing so, we need to balance developing measures that accurately tap into the construct or behaviour we intend to measure… Continue reading Using single-item measures in suicide and self-harm research
By Martina McGrath. Here in Australia social change in relation to suicide prevention is occurring; and it is not without its struggles. The suicide prevention peer workforce (SP Peer Workforce) is emerging as is noted in Hawgood et al . Alongside its emergence is the development and growth of non-clinical alternatives to care for people… Continue reading For the love of language, can we talk about that?
By Laura Hemming. “You’re not going to see him on your own, are you?” It was my first day collecting data in prison and I was trying to navigate the complicated process of identifying a potential participant to meet and discuss my research with. “No, no you’d be better off seeing John Smith . He… Continue reading Tips for researching suicide in prison
By Katherine Brown. Support: “to give or be ready to give help to somebody if they need it”. Few would argue against the idea that those who self-harm should be given support to overcome distress and cope in more adaptive ways. But with studies suggesting that approximately half of those who self-harm do not receive… Continue reading What support is really there for those who self-harm?
By Katerina Kavalidou and Alessio Albanese. The United Nations’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has recently published an annual Global Trends Report showing that currently, nearly 79.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. Whilst the majority are internally displaced (around 46 million), 26 million are refugees and 4.2 million are asylum seekers . Though often discussed together,… Continue reading Self-harm and suicide among asylum seekers and refugees: A call to researchers
By Justine Dickhoff. The role of the brain in suicide Our brain is one of the most fascinating organs. Even though it only makes up 3% of our body weight it keeps our body running all day. It helps us to accomplish our work, go from place to place and let us understand when a… Continue reading How studying the brain can help us to reduce suicide
By Julie Janssens. “I don’t want you to include my parents in therapy!” “I hate them!” “They don’t love me…” “They will not understand what I am going through.” “They have enough on their plate already. I don’t want to burden them with my problems.” “It is like there is a huge skyscraper between us.”… Continue reading The importance of attachment in treating and investigating self-harm
By John F. Gunn III. I have always had an interest in theoretical perspectives of suicide – so much so that I convinced David Lester to edit a book on the topic with me . I even attempted my own supposition on a theoretical framework some years ago . However, as I developed as a… Continue reading Suicide in Context: How Bioecological Theory Could Advance Theories of Suicide
By A. Jess Williams. So, you’re doing a systematic review? Dear God. Panic stations. At some point, either you or your PI will say “hey, how about we start this off with a systematic review?” Sounds good right? Yep, very logically. But then you feel overwhelmed; how did you get to this point?! Fear not.… Continue reading Help! I’m doing a systematic review!
By Jessica Leather. Psychological science has been at the centre of many people’s minds since the COVID-19 pandemic began, especially those in search of effective public health messaging and coping strategies. Recently an expert panel in psychological science highlighted mental health as a research priority, due to the shifting social conditions and economic instability resulting… Continue reading Applying Behavioural Science to Self-harm Prevention
By Hilary Norman. “We often tell people to “ask for help” to “reach out”, to “share,” but there is a paradox at play here. It’s often when you’re struggling the most that you are least able to articulate what it is you are feeling and what you need.” @white_owly It’s not always easy to put… Continue reading When you don’t have the words…
By Hazel Marzetti. Yasmin: For LGBT+ young people specifically, just societally, if you have a feeling, especially when you’re young that you’re not going to be accepted and it’s going to be harder for you to sort of move through the world because of your identity, that brings a real feeling of hopelessness. Suicide is… Continue reading “What do you think would reduce LGBT+ youth suicide in the future?”
By Corbin J. Standley. As suicide researchers, we develop hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions to contribute to efforts to save lives and create lives worth living. Beyond these academic pursuits, however, we must also use our skills and expertise to influence community and social change. One step toward creating this change is… Continue reading Policy Change to Prevent Suicide: Turning Research into Action
By Cheryl Hunter. Have you ever spoken to someone who lived with ongoing suicidal thoughts and feelings? How would you know for sure that you haven’t? According to a community survey, one in five people experience suicidal thoughts at some point in their lifetime, and one in fifteen people act to end their own lives.… Continue reading “The burden of telling”: how our responses can silence people who live with suicidal thoughts, feelings and acts
By Austin J. Gallyer. There are many scientists in the field of suicidology who believe that there are reliable differences in the way the brain functions in people who think about or attempt suicide compared to those who don’t [1-3]. This belief that suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and psychiatric conditions in general, are driven by… Continue reading Are There Brain Differences in Those Experiencing Suicidality? It’s Complicated.
By Alexandr Kasal. Introduction After graduating from a Public and Social Policy Master study-program, and working as an intern within the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) in the Czech Republic, I was offered a job in in their Public Mental Health research group. One of the long-term goals of our efforts is to raise… Continue reading Coordinating the formulation of the National Action Plan for Suicide Prevention 2020-2030 (NAPSP)
By Abigail Paterson. I recently completed the data collection for the first study in my PhD and when I did, I realised that this also signalled the end of my first study which asked participants about their self-harm behaviour. It was two big milestones for me in my PhD and before I begin data analysis… Continue reading Reflecting on asking about self-harm for the first time